Foxborough police may have a lead in its investigation of an unarmed robbery that took place at a local Dunkin’ Donuts Tuesday night and are asking the public for further assistance in identifying the suspect.
“We have a photo [of the suspect],” Foxborough Chief of Police Edward O’Leary said. … “We are just hoping that with some help from the public [someone will recognize the suspect] and that will be the trigger to have him identified.”
O’Leary said in addition to the photo of the suspect, which has been issued to 99 communities in the Southeast region through an electronic broadcast system, police may have a partial fingerprint of the suspect.
“[Foxborough] police officer Pat Morrison said he lifted a partial fingerprint from the interior of the doughnut bag [given to the suspect by the employee] but we have to do elimination prints of the [employee] who was involved in the scuffle with the [suspect] just to make sure it is not her print,” O’Leary said.
The unarmed robbery reportedly took place around 10:20 p.m. Tuesday at the Dunkin’ Donuts located at 30 Commercial St. Police were notified of the incident by a patron who thought the robbery was a domestic disturbance between the suspect and the clerk.
“I believe it was the witness who called the police from his cell phone when the [employee] started yelling about [the alleged robbery],” O’Leary said. “[The caller] thought at first it may have been a domestic. In fact it came into the station that there was a domestic disturbance and it wasn’t until the officers arrived that everyone understood what had occurred.”
What occurred was an alleged scuffle between the suspect and the clerk after the cash drawer was opened to complete a transaction for a doughnut. The suspect allegedly assaulted the clerk before fleeing the Dunkin’ Donuts with an undisclosed amount of cash from the register.
The suspect – described as a white male in his 40s, approximately 5-foot-7 with brown hair and medium build – allegedly entered the Dunkin’ Donuts to initially purchase a doughnut, according to O’Leary.
“[The clerk] handed [the suspect] a bag with a doughnut in it,” O’Leary said of the initial encounter. “[The suspect then] moved [the bag] aside and gave her some change to put in the cash register so she would open it and as soon as it was opened he lunged across [the counter] trying to grab the cash.”
O’Leary said the clerk tried to prevent the suspect from taking money from the drawer but was reportedly injured during the scuffle.
“One of her hands was scraped in the confrontation,” said O’Leary. … “I guess [the suspect] pushed her back from the cash drawer to complete the theft and ran out of the building.”
The clerk was the only employee in the building at the time of the alleged robbery but a second employee – who was outside discarding trash – witnessed the suspect leave the scene in a white pickup truck.
“Another employee saw the suspect run away and get into a white truck,” O’Leary said. “[She] didn’t realize what had taken place until she came back [into the doughnut shop].”
O’Leary said the witness reports suggest the robbery was premeditated.
“Obviously some thought was done by the suspect where he didn’t park directly in front of [Dunkin’ Donuts],” O’Leary said. “He parked over by the Shell station. He left so he would have quicker access to 95 off Route 140 that goes into Mansfield.”
To O’Leary’s recollection, this is the first robbery at the 30 Commercial St. Dunkin’ Donuts in at least the past several years.
“I cannot recall one in the last several years,” O’Leary said “ We have had burglaries at various Dunkin’ Donuts. There was a group that was caught a few years ago that was doing burglaries after the places were closed.”
O’Leary said while Foxborough is a safe suburban town it is not immune to these types of incidents.
“We have been very fortunate that crime of violence like robberies very rarely happen in our community but I think it’s a sign of the times and the increasing drug addiction problem,” O’Leary said. “It is going to happen even in suburban towns like Foxborough that are very safe.”
To further help the investigation, O’Leary said he hopes to get the photograph [see photo gallery above] taken from the video camera at Dunkin’ Donuts to both the Mass Most Wanted and Rhode Island Most Wanted websites to see if someone can recognize the suspect.
“That’s part of an ongoing process,” O’Leary said.
If you have any information about Tuesday’s incident contact the Foxborough police at (508) 543-4343.