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Police believe two Penacook robberies are related

An armed robbery Thursday night at Sam’s Food Store in Penacook is likely related to a similar robbery at Asian Taste Restaurant last week, according to the police.

Concord police Lt. Timothy O’Malley said a man entered Sam’s, located on Village Street, about 9:35 p.m. Thursday, displayed a handgun and demanded cash and cigarettes. The man left with an undisclosed amount of money and fled northeast up Summer Street before turning south onto High Street, according to a witness who O’Malley said saw the man run out of the store.

He was described as wearing black clothing, a black mask and gloves, according to the police. On Thursday night, a police dog helped search the surrounding area, but the man was not located.

O’Malley said the crime bears resemblance to the Aug. 8 armed robbery at Asian Taste Restaurant on Village Street. In that incident, a man dressed in black and wearing gloves entered the restaurant about 9:28 p.m., displayed a handgun and demanded cash.

“There’s always a possibility it’s someone different. It could be a copycat. It could just be a coincidence,” O’Malley said.

But he added that the crimes happened in the same area at about the exact same time of night. O’Malley said in both cases the robber was wearing all black and was described as having broad shoulders.

Detectives do not believe, however, that these two robberies are related to one in late July at the Fisherville Road Dunkin’ Donuts, O’Malley said. He said the police aren’t ruling out the possibility that they are related to another late July robbery at the Fisherville Road Cumberland Farms but said there are substantial differences between that incident and the two this month.

O’Malley said officers are stepping up patrols in Penacook and encouraged anyone with information about these crimes to call the Concord Regional Crimeline at 226-3100.

“We have been getting calls,” he said. “So we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to identify this individual soon.”

(Tricia L. Nadolny can be reached at 369-3306 or tnadolny@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @TriciaNadolny.)

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