Saturday, 2:15 PM
Somerville Police say robber may be targeting women after dark
A police sketch of the suspect.
By Maria Cramer, Globe Staff
Somerville Police investigating the third robbery on city streets in three days say they suspect that a man may be targeting women who are walking the streets after dark.
Police yesterday released the sketch of the man who they believe stabbed and robbed a 22-year-old woman walking home from the Sullivan Square MBTA stop late Monday night. The woman, who was not identified, was in serious condition after the man stabbed her in the chest, just inches from her heart. The stabbing occurred after she struggled with him as he tried to take her purse, police said.
Four hours earlier, at 6 p.m., a woman had been robbed as she walked on Bow Street near Union Square. Her age was not immediately available.
The most recent attack was Wednesday night, when a third woman, this time a 38-year-old, was walking near Beacon Street, a main thoroughfare in Somerville.
“I think he’s just targeting women who are walking alone,” Deputy Chief Paul Upton said of the suspect. “That’s the only pattern that we really have. That and the darkness. The ones that occurred in Somerville have occurred after dark.”
Hoping to generate leads, Somerville authorities also released video of a woman at a Target store using a credit card stolen from the victim of a similar crime in a nearby city.
Upton said investigators are asking anyone who recognizes the woman or the woman herself to come forward.
"We're anxious to speak to her," he said.
The victims' description of the man has been fairly consistent, police said.
He is described as a stocky white male about 30 to 50 years old with a round face, thin lips, puffy, dark bags under his eyes and a short neck. He is between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 11 inches in height, police said.
The crimes have unsettled police, who normally deal with traffic complaints around the Bow and Beacon streets area of Somerville. Police said they hope the composite sketch of the suspect will help them catch him.
“This is very unusual and this is why we put out this information so quickly because this is not the norm at all,” Upton said. “We’re anxious to try and identify this individual and get him off the street as fast as we can.”
He said police are working with investigators in neighboring cities and towns that have had similar robberies recently. He declined to identify the communities but said there have been two other robberies just outside Somerville in recent weeks.
Upton called on the public to be alert and report anything that seems strange.
"We're just asking people to be vigilant, not to hesitate to call 911 if they see something that doesn't look right," Upton said.