PONDSIDE—Police are seeking a suspect in two gunpoint robberies that happened two weeks ago at the Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts at 24 Eliot St.—one inside the adult-education school and the other outdoors behind the building.
The suspect is described as a black, non-Hispanic man, about 20 years old, 5-feet-9-inches to 6-feet-1-inch tall. He was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt with a zippered front, blue jeans and running shoes with white laces.
Eliot School Executive Director Abigail Norman told the Gazette that the school considers the crimes a “total anomaly, not a trend.” She said the school wants to avoid heavy security measures, but currently has neighbors volunteering to stand outside when students arrive in the evenings, among other practices. The busy school is frequently open late, and its yard long was open as a semi-public park for dog-walkers and others.
In the first robbery on Feb. 27, the suspect hung around inside the school for about an hour prior to the 6 p.m. crime, speaking to numerous people, according to the Boston Police Department. The victim, a teacher, was robbed when he walked down some stairs while talking on a cell phone. The suspect pulled out a black handgun and said, “Tell your girlfriend you will call her back.” The suspect then said, “Give me what you got.” After stealing the victim’s wallet and phone, the suspect fled the building toward Dunster Road. It is not clear why BPD described the suspect as fleeing toward that street, which is a block away from the school.
In the second robbery on Feb. 28, a man was robbed around 8 p.m. after parking his car on Dunster Road and cutting through the Eliot School grounds toward Eliot Street, according to BPD. The suspect approached the victim behind the school building and demanded money. The suspect stole the victim’s wallet and cell phone and demanded the password for his ATM card. “Don’t give me the wrong password, because I know where you live and I’ll come back,” the suspect said. The victim gave the suspect the password and the suspect displayed a gun while telling the victim, “Run.” About 45 minutes later, the suspect used the card towithdraw cash at a Blue Hill Avenue ATM. He was caught on security video, but images from the tape released by BPD are too blurry to clearly show his face.
Anyone with information about the crimes can contact detectives at Jamaica Plain’s District E-13 Police Station at 617-343-5628 or anonymously by calling 1-800-494-8477 or by texting the word “TIP” to 27463.