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 firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.