Police are searching for a man who is believed to have committed two gunpoint robberies on consecutive nights last week at the Eliot School in Jamaica Plain, authorities said.
In the first attack, a teacher reported that he was robbed inside the school by a man who had roamed the building for about an hour before and spent time using the bathroom and talking to numerous people, including asking his eventual victim what classes he taught, according to a police alert.
The next night a man said he was robbed behind the building.
The school, at 24 Eliot St., teaches crafts and fine arts to children and adults.
Just before 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 27, a teacher at the school said he was talking on his cell phone and walking downstairs when a man pulled a black handgun from his pants and said: “Tell your girlfriend you will call her back,” and “Give me what you got,” according to police.
The teacher handed over his iPhone and a wallet, which had cash inside. Officers searched but could not find the man.
On Thursday, Feb. 28, just before 8 p.m., a man he parked his car on Dunster Road, walked along a pathway behind the Eliot School and was then approached by a man who demanded money and then took his wallet and cell phone, police said.
The suspect also demanded the man’s ATM password, telling him: “Don’t give me the wrong number because I know where you live and I’ll come back.”
After getting the password, the suspect showed the man a gun and told him: “Run,” officials said.
Just less than an hour later, the victim was contacted by his bank about a withdrawal from an ATM on Blue Hill Avenue in Mattapan, police said. Officers searched that area but could not find the man.
Police said they are searching for a man who they believe committed both robberies.
He is described as being black, about 20 years old, about 6 feet tall, having a slim build, and wearing a gray hoodie, running sneakers and blue jeans, officials said. The suspect is believed to have a vehicle because of how quickly he was able to travel from JP to Mattapan.
Officers from District E-13 in Jamaica Plain held a community meeting at the school after the attacks and have issued the following safety tips asking residents to be aware of their surroundings, especially at night; try to walk with someone else and in well-lit and populated areas; make eye contact with passersby; avoid talking on a cell phone and wearing headphones; and wear sneakers or shoes that allow for added mobility.
“If you think that someone is following you, switch direction or cross the street,” police advised. “Walk toward an open store, restaurant or residence and call police.”
Anyone with information about the robberies is asked to call District E-13 detectives at 617-343-5628. Information can be provided anonymously by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1-800-494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463).
E-mail Matt Rocheleau at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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