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Concord armed robbery suspect tied to similar crimes in Salem

  • Matthew Roz

Monitor staff
Published: 2/25/2020 4:59:12 PM

Authorities say a former Bow resident accused of robbing a Concord convenience store at gunpoint on Dec. 1 went on to rob a candy store and then a gas station, both in Salem, within a matter of days.

Matthew Roz, 41, whose address is listed in court records as homeless, escaped with approximately $800 from the Quick Stop convenience store at 201 South Main St. in Concord before continuing on to Pearl’s Candy and Nuts at 356 South Broadway St. in Salem, police said. On the evening of Dec. 6, Roz robbed the candy store’s clerk at knifepoint and fled with about $430, according to court documents. 

Three days later, Salem police say Roz was captured on video surveillance footage at Klemm’s Mobil station at 120 Pleasant St. in Salem, where he displayed a gun and demanded cash from the register. Police say  he escaped that location with about $400 in cash.

Roz is facing one charge of armed robbery in Merrimack County, in addition to three counts of armed robbery in Rockingham County. A third charge was brought forward in Rockingham County after police say they also identified Roz in connection with a robbery at a Gulf gas station in the city back on April 27. 

Last month, a judge ordered Roz detained in Rockingham County after a grand jury there handed up the three armed robbery indictments against him. He was incarcerated Friday when police served him with a warrant charging him in connection with the convenience store robbery in Concord.

Roz appeared by video Tuesday afternoon in Merrimack County Superior Court, where he waived his arraignment on the Concord charge. Because Roz is already being detained in Rockingham County, attorneys in Concord argued before Judge John Kissinger Jr. that $1,000 cash bail was sufficient, with the provision that Roz be monitored by pretrial services if released.

However, Kissinger strongly disagreed and ordered preventative detention for Roz.

“I don’t know what will happen in Rockingham,” Kissinger said. “I’m concerned whether this is an appropriate bail in this county.”

Assistant Merrimack County Attorney Matthew Flynn said he agreed with public defender Catherine Flinchbaugh’s proposed bail order asking for $1,000 cash, in part, because Roz has no prior criminal record. He stated his confidence in the county’s pretrial services program to monitor Roz and ensure that he stays away from the Quick Stop.

“If the court is unable to accept the bail conditions than I'd argue for preventative," Flynn said.

A police affidavit describes the Roz as displaying a silver gun and threatening the cashier. Kissinger said that detail is “very troubling” and that in the interest of public safety he could not agree to attorneys’ recommendation of $1,000 bail. 

"It's my understanding no firearm was actually recovered,” Flinchbaugh said.

But Kissinger said that for purposes of the bail argument, that detail didn’t matter. Not only had the cashier reported seeing the gun, police officers reviewed video surveillance footage that captures Roz in the act, he said. Even if the gun is a replica and not the real thing, he said the risk to the public is far too great.

Flinchbaugh disagreed that a real gun and a fake gun should be given the same weight, and said she would be requesting an evidentiary hearing at a later date where the court could review the video footage and hear from investigators.

According to a police affidavit, a white man of medium build -- who was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, black and white Adidas pants, black sneakers and gloves -- held up the Quick Stop on Dec. 1, shortly before 7 p.m. Police said they located footprints in freshly fallen show in a nearby driveway where they believe he got into a vehicle and took off.

The description of the Concord robbery mirrors reports police in Salem received at two locations in December. Police say Roz wore the same sneakers during the robberies, and that he dressed in similar clothes, including a sweatshirt and black mask.

Through a closer view of video surveillance footage at the candy store in Salem, investigators observed a white Toyota Tundra flee the area about 10 seconds after the reported robbery, according to court documents. They then viewed the same truck on video footage at the Mobil gas station at the time of that armed robbery.

As authorities started receiving anonymous tips connecting Roz to the string of robberies in the Granite State, they learned from police in Methuen, Mass., that an identical truck had been at the scene of a similar crime in Haverhill on May 15. Roz was wanted in the Bay State for allegedly stealing a man's wallet from a convenience store. Police said he fled that scene in a white 2017 Toyota Tundra with New Hampshire plates.

Authorities initially arrested Roz on the Massachusetts warrant in mid-December after finding him at the Methuen Park-and-Ride in his truck, where they believe he was living. The indictments were brought against him in Salem about one month later.




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