SAUGUS, Mass. (WHDH) – A teenager from Everett was arrested after police said he broke into the Square One Mall in Saugus and stole a firearm from a sporting goods store.
Massachusetts State Police and Saugus Police responded early Monday morning to reports of an “armed and dangerous intruder” inside the mall off of Route 1.
A break-in alarm at Dick’s Sporting Goods was triggered at around 4 a.m. Upon arrival, police said they found a window of the store smashed out. Officers also reported seeing a suspect armed with a possible gun. A NEMLEC SWAT team, tactical teams with K9 dogs and several surrounding police departments were called to the scene.
Police said the suspect, 16, broke into a locked case containing firearms, stole a long gun and took ammunition from the store’s hunting department. They said the suspect escaped the mall after a confrontation but was later taken into custody at his Everett home. The rifle, along with some ammunition, was found in the woods near the mall.
The suspect’s name has not been released but police said they were able to identify him through surveillance video. Police said two officers even spoke to the suspect in the parking lot, not realizing who he was.
Officers searched the mall multiple times during the hours-long standoff. A police perimeter was set up around the mall.
Employees responding to work were kept outside and away at a safe distance from the mall.
“We weren’t allowed to go in there because there was a gunman in Dick’s Sporting Goods,” said a mall employee.
Saugus schools sheltered in place during the search. A middle school promotion ceremony was postponed until Tuesday due to the lockdown.
There were no reports of injuries. The mall was shutdown for more than eight hours. The mall reopened Monday afternoon but Dick’s remained closed as it is being investigated as a crime scene.
“They’ve been storing guns there for quite sometime and it’s never been an issue, but we are going to go over that from top to bottom,” said Saugus Police Chief Dominic Dimella.
The suspect is expected to appear in court Tuesday on an array of charges, including theft of a firearm and breaking and entering.
The incident is under investigation.
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