An armed robber stole narcotics from the CVS Pharmacy in downtown Andover on Tuesday, April 23, at 7:30 a.m. The man approached the pharmaceutical counter with a handgun and demanded narcotics, according to The Eagle Tribune.
Andover police worked in conjunction with Phillips Academy Public Safety (PAPS) officers to ensure the safety of the Andover community.
Mark Leonard, Director of Campus Safety, said, “We had gotten a call from the Andover Police Department a little while after it happened just with a description of the individual. We had sent officers to down by our old building at Phillips Hall and kind of stay there just to see if anybody matching that description was in the area.”
Leonard also noted that PAPS considered implementing “Shelter in Place” emergency protocol, in which students remain in their classrooms until the procedure is lifted. However, PAPS determined that the armed robber did not pose a threat to campus.
“We talked about doing the shelter in place here briefly. We had the alert system up and ready to go… In this case we had no indication that there was anything headed in this direction, so we didn’t do that,” said Leonard.
Doherty Middle School near CVS was locked down until 9:10 a.m., according to The Eagle Tribune.
Melinda Zhang ’21 said, “I was in Chemistry class, and my mom sent me a text that said there was an armed robbery in CVS…and then somebody came into the classroom and said that Doherty, my old middle school, was on lockdown, and I just felt like that was weird…It’s a little scary that something could happen like that around here.”
Andover did not go into lockdown because PAPS determined that the robber was not in the vicinity of campus.
Leonard said, “We were closely monitoring the radio traffic from Andover police, hadn’t been getting any indications that the person was traveling in this direction…[We got] the sense that they had probably gotten into their vehicle at some point and left the area, so we never did do a shelter in place, but we were certainly ready to do that if we felt it was necessary, but again, [there was] no indication that the person was headed in this vicinity or in this direction.”
The suspect, a white male estimated to be 6′ 0″, was last seen wearing a black sweatshirt, blue jeans, and ski mask and escaped out of the back door of the CVS. According to Leonard, no one has yet been apprehended in connection to this incident.