Armed robbery for Adderall

Here’s something I haven’t seen before.

A 19-year-old Lowell man, Joshua Brand, is being held on a single count of armed robbery after police say he passed a note at the CVS pharmacy at 1815 Middlesex Street this morning at 12:15 a.m., and demanded bottles of the ADHD drug Adderall.

Police say the note suggested Brand had a gun, and that he escaped the store with six bottles of the prescription drug, which has grown in popularity in recent years as many students use it, often without a prescription, to aid their studies.

Police were called to the store for a report of a robbery in progress at 12:15 a.m., and officers were warned that the suspect was potentially armed.

The suspect was described as a white male, in his 20’s, in a black sweatshirt.

Police say Officers Timothy Whalen and Jason Gatto spotted a man fitting that description on Middlesex Street as they sped toward the store, and  stopped him with help from a UMass Lowell police officer.

Police say they found six bottles of Adderall and a note still in the man’s pocket. Continue reading


Dracut man still missing

Several people tweeted at me and sent me messages on Facebook on my days off asking why NEMLEC was in Dracut while helicopters were overhead, and I directed them to the ongoing story of Leo Coutu, a 49-year-old Dracut man who has been missing since Tuesday about 5 p.m.

Over 100 people from NEMLEC, local police, and volunteers searched for Coutu over the last few days. He is still missing.

Coutu is 5’4, with a slim, 130 pound build. He has fair skin, gray hair, and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a blue shirt and white, striped polo shirt, bue shorts and sneakers.

Coutu is the son of the late Edmond “Gus” Coutu, a former Lowell city councilor and school committee member. He worked as a corrections officers for 22 years, and worked for a time at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center.

My colleague Jen Myers attended a press conference held by Coutu’s family in Dracut today, and reports that his 19-year-old daughter was crying as she pleaded with anyone who spots her father to help. Continue reading

Stealing from the graveyard

Here’s a classy one.

Lowell Police got a 911 call Wednesday afternoon at 3:11 p.m., from a 35-year-old Salisbury woman who told police her 73-year-old father was chasing a man who had just stolen cash from her pocketbook while she and her parents visited a grave in the St. Patrick’s Cemetery.

Police swarmed the area, but were unable to locate the suspect, described as a white male, about 40-years-old, balding, in a gray and blue shirt.

The 35-year-old Salisbury woman told police she was visiting a grave with her 65-year-old mother and 73-year-old father, who are from Methuen, when her mother noticed that a man had opened the door of the family’s van, which was parked about 30 feet away.

The family saw the suspect take cash out of the 35-year-old’s purse and then take off running.

The 73-year-old father chased the suspect, but lost him behind 1100 Gorham Street.

Police tell me they have an idea of who the suspect is. I will be very very happy to bring you his name if he is arrested.

Arrest made in Lowell shooting

A 27-year-old Nashua man is in Lowell Police custody tonight facing charges he shot a man at Walker and Branch streets in the leg on May 26.

I’ve known this guy was a suspect in this shooting for a while, but Lowell Police did not want to comment until they actually had him in custody.

Vernon Davis, 27, of 41 Brinton Drive, Nashua, has been in police custody since June 10 at 7:20 p.m., when he was arrested by Nashua Police following a traffic stop on the Henri Burque Highway in Nashua.

Nashua Police say Davis, a convicted felon, was in possession of a handgun during that traffic stop.

He was also already wanted on a warrant for stalking, though I don’t know the details of the stalking charge. Click here to download the press release Nashua issued at the time.

Nashua Police charged Davis with being a felon in possession of a firearm and a fugitive from justice.

At about the same time Davis was arrested, Lowell Police sought, and later obtained, a warrant charging him with the May 26 shooting on Branch Street, in which a 25-year-old Lowell man was shot in the thigh.

That shooting, as you can see if you click the link above, was the first in Lowell since October of 2011.

Davis will be arraigned Thursday in Lowell District Court on both the stalking charge and a shooting-related count of armed assault with intent to murder.

Mustang versus Crown Vic in Lowell

The Mustang lost.

I’m not yet sure what started the motor vehicle pursuit that started on Bridge Street in Centralville tonight, but I do know how it ended, because it ended with this guy in handcuffs.

Police tell me this is Anthony Burcell, 20, of 240 Pelczar Road, Dracut.

Police say officers in a car that patrols Centralville tried to stop the Ford Mustang pictured below here on Bridge Street about 8:20 p.m., but the driver of the car refused to stop.

The chase went up Bridge Street, and I’m told Pelczar nearly struck several pedestrians as he fled police. Continue reading

Tewksbury Police – The Freshmaker!

I’m pretty sure this isn’t what the folks at Mentos had in mind when they described their product as “the freshmaker.”

A 19-year-old Lawrence man was locked up on Tuesday after Tewksbury Police conducting surveillance stopped a suspicious vehicle near Kennedy Road.

Police say they called a Massachusetts State Police canine to the scene, and the dog sniffed out what is pictured above. Continue reading

Home Invasion in Lowell

I missed one!

Although I have to admit, someone mentioned this incident to me in passing on Tuesday night and I was busy chasing the robbery story so I never realized they were talking about an entirely separate incident.

A man in his 30’s who lives at 750 Merrimack Street called police Monday at 7:32 p.m., and reported that a man with a knife had just kicked in his door.

The victim told police he heard a knock on his door, opened it with the chain lock still engaged, only to have the man at the door kick the door and break the chain lock.

The suspect, who was armed with a knife, then stole a necklace from the victim and fled.

Police did not immediately release a description of the suspect.

Anyone with information is asked to call Lowell police at 978-937-3200 or Crimestoppers at 978-459-TIPS (8477). Information can also be sent to police via Text-a-Tip, by texting TIP411 (847411) with the subject “LPDTIP.”
Tipsters can remain anonymous, but can receive up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest.