The Crime of Armed Robbery in a Massachusetts Coffee House

It was reported today in the Patriot Ledger that two white males allegedly robbed the Marylou’s coffee shop located at 1501 Bedford Street in Abington, Massachusetts at around 11:00 a.m. on Thursday. According to the district manager for the store, Sunisa Loring, these men used a weapon believed to be a gun or a knife after walking into Marylou’s at about 10:30. A witness described the two men as white and both were apparently wearing gray hooded sweatshirts. They demanded money from the cashier then fled in a blue Dodge Neon with the cash according to the police. The vehicle, which was reported stolen yesterday, was said to be heading south. No one was injured at the time and the police continue investigate the crime scene by dusting the shop for fingerprints.

In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the legal definition of the crime of armed robbery is found in G.L. c. 265, § 17. To be convicted of armed robbery in Massachusetts, the prosecution must prove four elements beyond a reasonable doubt: First, the defendant must have been armed with a dangerous weapon. Second, a threat must have been made by the defendant that put the alleged victim in a state of fear, or the defendant must have physically hurt or used force on the victim. Thirdly, the defendant must have taken the alleged victim’s possession intending to steal it. Fourth, the defendant must have taken the alleged victim’s possession out the victim’s control. The crime of armed robbery is a serious felony crime in Massachusetts. Punishment for conviction of the crime of armed robbery includes the a possibility of life in state prison or for any term of years and experienced criminal defense representation will be needed at once.

On the police investigation end, in a robbery such as this, time is of the essence. If the police find the stolen car and it is not torched, they will scour it for fingerprint or DNA evidence that could lead to identification potential suspects. Obviously, identification of the suspects is central to a successful prosecution of the case. The police will interview all witnesses at the coffee shop and will put together a photo array based upon the description that is given by the witnesses. They will pull from a pool of suspects fitting the description of the defendants, if any was able to be obtained in this case, since they were reported to be wearing hooded sweatshirts which may have totally or partially obscured their appearance. They will check to see if someone can make a positive identification. They will carefully review videotape evidence from the scene if they was a camera which is likely in this day and age. They will check adjacent businesses to see if they have a camera that may have picked up the perpetrators in another area with their hoods off of their heads that may provide for a better angle to identify them.

The police indicated that the car that the suspects were using was reported stolen at some point. They will canvas the area from where it was taken to see if any witnesses saw anything or anyone at that time. They will check with local businesses in the area to see if they had a video footage near or at the scene from where the car was taken or on the route that may have been used by the suspects. If the car was located at or near an MBTA station they will review videotape evidence and try to investigate whether the suspects used a Charlie card and try to obtain identifying information through the use of a bank subpoena. They will seek to question likely suspects. They will be looking for these potential suspects to make a mistake and talk with them and get them to confess. The police are highly trained to investigate suspects and solve crimes. They often use tactics that lull defendants into a false sense of security and then get them to talk after waiving their Miranda rights and without legal counsel present.

From the legal defense perspective, a person accused of a crime has a right to legal counsel and does not have to subject himself or herself to police questioning. If the police have enough evidence they will obtain arrest warrants or search warrants in a given case. That is why it is crucial for a person suspected of this or any other crime to seek out a qualified and experienced Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer before police involvement. I can’t think of a valid reason to speak to the police directly without a lawyer present when you are the focus of a criminal investigation. Nothing good can ever come from it.

The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy provides extensive criminal defense services in Massachusetts to those people accused of crimes such as armed robbery, a crime that may often be reduced to a lesser crime under certain circumstances. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy has nearly 20 years of experience in the criminal courts aggressively defending people from all walks of life from various crimes and has earned their trust and admiration due to his skill in providing criminal defense in their time of need. If you have been investigated or charged with a crime in Massachusetts, contact a lawyer you can trust to zealously represent you in every aspect of your case to clear your name and secure your freedom by challenging and suppressing identification evidence. Contact Attorney Patrick J. Murphy today for a free and confidential consultation at 617-367-0450 or by sending him a direct email at

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