Presence of mind and some help from a customer led to the speedy apprehension of a robbery suspect yesterday morning after a snatch and run robbery at the West Shore Market at 425 West Shore Rd.
“I always say hello to everybody who comes in,” said Nita Patel, 54, the owner of the market. “This guy didn’t say anything back, he just stood there in line. Then he gave me about a $1.50 sale to ring up, so I had to open the drawer to give him change. Then he reached over and started grabbing the money – I tried to keep him from grabbing too much money – and then he ran out and I started chasing him. I asked a customer to follow him and he went around the corner [Aurora Drive] and there was a truck waiting there.”
Patel said the customer got the plate number for the silver or gray pickup, MA AE188, and they called it into police. Within seconds, Warwick police cruisers were sweeping through the neighborhood and spotted the truck heading toward Sandy Lane on Warwick Avenue. Police boxed the truck in when it ducked into the Stop & Shop gas station at Warwick Avenue and Sandy Lane and arrested three men at gunpoint.
Patel was taken to the gas station for a show up identification and she identified the man she said reached over the counter and into the cash drawer.
Patrol Capt. Joseph Coffey identified the suspect as Sean Hickey, 33, of 50 Princeton Ave. in Warwick. Hickey is being charged with second-degree robbery. Coffey said detectives are still attempting to determine what role, if any, the other two males played in the robbery.
“We are not releasing any more details until our detectives have had a chance to look into it,” said Coffey.
Police routinely do not release the amount of money taken in robberies but Patel herself said it was under $100. She said she called her husband to tell him what happened and he said he would be coming right over.
“I told him, ‘Don’t bother, I’m OK,’” she said. “I wasn’t hurt.”