Boy Killed by Tree

This last one was one of the most random, scary, and awful stories I’ve covered in a while.
A trick-or-treater, just 10-years-old, was walking along a quiet, beautiful cul-de-sac in a rural part of Pelham Saturday night when a roughly 50-foot birch tree fell, struck him, and killed him.
A photo Julia Malakie got of the tree is below.

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There isn’t much to say about this one. Neighbors didn’t want to talk, understandably, but police said the boy was with several other children when this happened.
I’m sure all those children could use some prayers, as can this boy’s family.
The boy was rushed to Saints Medical Center in Lowell, where he was pronounced dead.
While I was at the robbery call in Lowell I heard Lowell Police broadcast that a Pelham Ambulance was coming down Bridge Street at high speed with a patient on board who was critical.
Now I know why the ambulance was in such a hurry on a night like tonight.
Police said it appears wind blew the tree down. The National Weather Service reported gusts of up to 50 mph at a few places in Massachusetts tonight, and forecast 30 mph gusts for Lowell.
When it comes to incidents that just boggle your mind, this one is right up there with the 5-year-old who was killed in Lowell earlier this year.
The tree fell on Fairview Circle, a short cul-de-sac off Diamond Hill Road in Pelham. It is in a development full of big and very nice homes, many of which were decorated for Halloween.
A neighbor who said he wasn’t home when this incident occurred said there are lots of trick-or-treaters in the neighborhood. He had a big blue bucket inside his door that had been full of candy.
When I was there there was just a few candy bars and a lollipop left. He said his wife had given all the candy out.

Dunkin Donuts Robbed – Gun Recovered

As I was speeding to what turned out to be a scary but fairly minor pedestrian accident on Westford Street tonight, where a mother was struck by a moped as she led two children across the street, police got a report that the Dunkin Donuts at Dutton and Fletcher had just been robbed.
It was about 7:15 p.m.
The woman on Westford Street had minor injuries.
The armed robber at Dunkins displayed a shotgun and escaped.
He was described as a heavyset white male, wearing a black hoodie, brown pants and white shoes.
Within minutes, police found a heavyset white guy in a black hoodie on Western Avenue, and soon found a black, pistol-gripped shotgun in the bushes on the same street right across from the artist studios.

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Turns out the guy on Western Avenue was wearing jeans and brown boots, though. He was eventually cut loose.
Police recovered the shotgun, which is pictured above just as it was found.
Very nice of someone to leave it there like that on Halloween, when there were thousands of kids out and about on the streets.
That would have made one hell of a bad addition to a costume had some kid picked it up instead of police.
It should be noted this suspect fits the description of a guy who also held up the Country Farms Store on Branch Street, near Wilder Street, on Wednesday night.
Anyone with information is asked to call Lowell police at (978) 937-3200 or Crimestoppers at (978) 459-TIPS (8477). Callers may remain anonymous, but can receive up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest.

Fire Department Car Stolen

By a guy police tell me sort of looked like a firefighter.
Halloween related? Who knows.
He didn’t have any fire department logos or anything on his clothes, or a helmet, but police say Robert Levesque, 39, of 33 Fourth Ave., was wearing dress pants, a white shirt and a sweater, much like a deputy chief would when he was arrested Saturday night.
Police got a call that the Crown Victoria, formerly used by a deputy chief, was missing from the Fire Prevention Bureau at 93 Mammoth Road, about 9:30 p.m.
Before long firefighters spotted it nearby and followed it while police caught up.
The driver initially refused to stop for police, police said.
Officers finally got him stopped at Dracut Street and Sixth Avenue, according to police.
Levesque is charged with larceny of a motor vehicle, and will probably face charges for not pulling over right away too, police said.
It is unlikely he will face charges of trying to impersonate a firefighter, since he didn’t drive the thing to a fire or anything quite that ridiculous.
It’s worth noting that in 2005, Levesque was accused of stealing a car, breaking into a CVS in Tewksbury to steal pills, and then leading police on a 90 mph chase up I-93 and I-495 in the stolen car.
I can’t find out tonight if he was ever convicted in that case, but it sounds like things could have turned out worse tonight.

Where to Begin?

Happy Halloween, all hell broke loose around here tonight.
I’ll start with the least weird of the night’s incidents, a third-floor window on Central Street, near the intersection with Merrimack, that mysteriously blew out tonight, showering glass down onto Central Street across from the Old Court.
Police said it doesn’t appear to be vandalism, and may have just been due to pressure that built up with last night’s high winds.
No one got hurt, but as you can see here the sidewalk on Central Street downtown really got showered with glass.

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I’m glad I wasn’t standing there at the time.
I initially thought Halloween hijinks, but apparently there was no evidence of that, plus the window is three floors up, and it would have taken one heck of a throw to do this.
Considering what else happened tonight, I didn’t have much time to pursue this.

Highlands Robbery

Police are looking for a heavyset guy, over 200 pounds, who held up a Branch Street convenience store with a rifle or a long-barrelled BB gun tonight, police said.
Officers went to Country Farms, at 268 Branch St., at 9:37 p.m., but soon learned the robbery had about 5 minutes on it.
The suspect pulled what appeared to be a rifle and fled across Middlesex Street toward Wilder Street and Columbus Avenue.
He’s described as a heavyset, white male, over 200 pounds, wearing a dark blue or black jacket with gray lining, a dark sweatshirt with writing across the front, gray sweatpants with a band around the ankles, and a baseball cap with an insignia on it.
Anyone with information is asked to call Lowell police at (978) 937-3200 or Crimestoppers at (978) 459-TIPS (8477). Callers may remain anonymous, but can receive up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest.

Murder Investigation

Still no updates on the investigation from either Lowell Police or the DA’s office. I’ve been checking more than daily.
I have a theory on this one, but I’m not in the business of sharing theories. People shouldn’t mistake a failure to comment for a failure to make progress, though.
I’m still waiting for word of arrests or other developments.

Bank Robbery Suspect Sought

The FBI is now on the case of the guy who held up the Lowell Five Cent Savings Bank at Stadium Plaza last week, and they say he has hit at least two other banks as well.
The FBI says the same man is suspected of holding up the Merrimack Valley Credit Union on Osgood Street in North Andover on Aug. 17.
Here is a picture of him from that heist.

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The FBI also suspects the same man held up Citizen’s Bank on Main Street in Sharon on September 1.
Here is a picture of him in that bank.

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The robbery in Tewksbury was a week ago on the 19th. He passed a note to a teller demanding money from several drawers, and then escaped on foot.
Here are the two pictures Tewksbury PD put out from the bank.

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This one is from the bank lobby.

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The guy in the photos is described as a whilte male, in his late 20’s to early 30’s, between 6’0 and 6’3, with a heavy build.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the FBI at (617) 742-5533.