Medford police, SWAT team search church for potentially armed suspect Thursday morning

Roads were closed around St. Clement Parish as authorities searched.

Medford police called in a SWAT team early Thursday morning to help search St. Clement Parish near Powder House Square for a suspect who had allegedly attempted to rob a 7-11 in Cambridge.

Authorities are also investigating if the 7-11 incident is related to an alleged attempted armed robbery involving a firearm at the PLS Check Cashers at the Medford/Somerville line a few hours before.

Medford police were told around 1:46 a.m. that detectives in Cambridge were chasing the 7-11 suspect on foot on College Avenue and were headed into the city. Medford and Somerville police responded to the area, according to Medford police in a news release. Officers learned that the suspect had allegedly attempted to get into the 7-11’s cash register.


Cambridge detectives found the suspect in Somerville, and “a brief struggle ensued,” according to police. The suspect then took off on foot toward St. Clement Parish.

“Officers observed an open door to the church with wet foot prints inside and had reason to believe that the suspect was inside,” the release said.

Because of the prior incident at the check cashing business allegedly involving a firearm, as well as the location and potential connection, police called in the North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council SWAT team, the release said. Authorities searched the area for “several hours” but didn’t find the suspect.

During the search, Medford police notified the community on social media that there was a “large police presence” near the church at Boston Avenue and Harvard Street. Residents were told not to go toward the area, and that the roads around the area were closed around 3:42 a.m.

The area reopened around 6:30 a.m., police said on Twitter.

“Medford Detectives will be working in conjunction with Cambridge Police to determine if there is any connection to the two incidents,” police said in the release.

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