SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

November 28, 2012

Alleged robber eyed in second holdup

BY JULIE MANGANIS
STAFF WRITER

---- — PEABODY — Police nearly caught robbery suspect Glenn Roderick after he ran into a home on Endicott Street in Peabody on Sunday night.

But by the time Patrolman Gerald Fitzgerald reached the back of the house, all that was left was a black BB gun and some tangled blinds where Roderick, 41, had gone out the window.

It would take a few more steps to catch Roderick, of 18 Elm St., Apt. 2, Peabody, and now he’s being held on $5,000 cash bail, charged with stealing approximately $2,000 from a lottery machine cash drawer inside Town Variety on Central Street.

Salem police are also eyeing Roderick in the Nov. 19 holdup of a 7-Eleven on Norman Street.

New details about the holdup emerged in court papers filed yesterday during Roderick’s arraignment in the Peabody robbery, which happened around 8:45 p.m. Sunday.

Police say the suspect walked to the counter and asked the clerk, Jay Patel, to cash what he claimed was a winning scratch ticket. As the clerk scanned the ticket and discovered that it was not a winner, the robber stuck a gun in his face and demanded money from the lottery machine’s cash drawer.

The clerk handed the robber the entire drawer, according to the police report by Patrolman Justin Cecil. The robber emptied it, stuffed the cash into his green plaid jacket, ordered Patel to sit on the floor and then fled.

As police converged on the area, Fitzgerald spotted a silver minivan speeding into a driveway on Endicott Street, a short distance from the store. Two men jumped out of the van and ran inside 86R Endicott St., followed by Fitzgerald.

The woman inside pointed toward the back of the apartment. But Roderick and the other man, who remains unidentified, had made it out.

The officer did find the BB gun, under a TV tray near that back bedroom. But a search of the area went cold after a Danvers police dog, Falco, lost the suspect’s scent near the edge of a swamp.

The woman told officers that the suspect, whom she knew as “Robert Roderick,” had shown up around 8 p.m. asking to borrow her minivan “to do a few errands,” Cecil wrote in his report.

But when police looked at a Registry of Motor Vehicles photo of Robert Roderick, he looked nothing like the robber or the man Fitzgerald had seen that night. Police went back to the woman.

She insisted “Robert” had done time with her boyfriend and that she knew his girlfriend. That woman, in turn, identified “Robert” as Glenn Roderick.

Both the clerk and Fitzgerald then identified Roderick from photos, and Cecil got a warrant.

Inside the van, police found a cigarette box containing a glass pipe of the type used to smoke drugs and a dark sweatshirt matching the one seen on Roderick in a surveillance video.

Roderick was picked up on Monday afternoon.

The second suspect, seen running from the minivan, has not yet been identified.

Roderick pleaded not guilty yesterday to a charge of armed robbery. He is due back in Peabody District Court on Dec. 18 for a status hearing. Because armed robbery is a major felony, the case will likely be presented to a grand jury for indictment.

Salem police spokesman Lt. Conrad Prosniewski said detectives are looking at Roderick as a suspect in the Salem holdup, as well, but have not brought charges at this point.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.