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Subway store gets robbed a fourth time

The robber uses duct tape to bind the store worker, before taking its cash and escaping

An armed robber of a Medford Subway store used duct tape to bind the lone clerk Sunday and posed as an employee when three customers interrupted him before he fled with cash, authorities said.

The suspect took the cash-register drawer and walked out of the store at 1550 Biddle Road before the three customers, who are friends of the duct-taped clerk, discovered the crime, Medford police said.

The suspect fled with an undetermined amount of money in the fourth such robbery of this particular Subway store in about 2&

189; years, a grim string that Medford police Detective Bill Ford chalks up to a host of potential reasons.

The Subway is near an Interstate 5 exit, which robbers like for easy access; the shop is well-lit so it is easy to canvass; it is open late and often has one night clerk; and it is not outfitted with video-surveillance cameras.

They go after an easy score, and that (Subway) seems to be it, Ford said.

None of the robberies are believed to be connected, Ford said.

Sunday's incident began shortly before the store's 11 p.m. closing time when a white, stocky man in his 20s entered and showed the male employee that he had a gun ' likely a silver .25-caliber or .32-caliber semi-automatic handgun, Medford police Sgt. Roy Skinner said.

The robber escorted the clerk to the rear of the shop, then used duct tape to bind the clerk's hands behind him, Ford said.

He was pretty calm, cool and collected, Ford said of the robber. He told the employee several times that he didn't want to hurt him and that he wasn't going to hurt him.

When the clerk's three friends entered the store, the robber said he was an employee helping the clerk close the shop, Ford said.

As the friends tried to sort out what was happening, the robber was able to walk out with the cash-register drawer and head north on Biddle Road before likely fleeing in a pickup truck, police said.

The robber was described as 6 feet to 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighing between 220 pounds and 230 pounds. He was sporting two or three days' worth of facial hair, which was reddish blond. He had a deep voice, a medium to dark complexion and a small amount of acne.

He was wearing black pants, a white T-shirt and a black beanie at the time of the robbery.

The vehicle was described as a newer-model silver compact pickup, possibly a Nissan or a Toyota. The truck was described as clean, possibly raised and possibly with tinted windows.

Since the Subway's spate of burglaries, store managers have tried to keep at least two employees working at nights, but there was a manpower shortage Sunday that forced the employee to work alone, Ford said. The store owners are also now planning to install a video-surveillance system, he said.

Anyone with information about the crime, the suspect or the vehicle is asked to telephone Ford or Officer Keith Mak at 774-2236.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 776-4470, or e-mail