Real Life Somerville Police Stories: Justin PAQUETTE (Armed Robbery)Davis Square CVS

I, Officer Mark McLaughlin of the Somerville Police Department, report the following summary of facts:

On Sunday, March 6, 2022, I worked my assigned 4 PM- 12 AM shift, in full uniform, in marked cruiser West-6.

At approximately 9:33 PM, I was dispatched to CVS Pharmacy at 1 Davis Square for a report of a shoplifter. Officer E. DaCosta (W-7) was dispatched as back up. Upon arrival at the scene, I was met by CVS employees, XXXX, and XXXX. Ms. XXXX stated that a male, later identified as Justin Paquette, came into the store and asked her where the shaving products were. Ms. XXXX then escorted Mr. Paquette to the locked case where the shaving products are kept. She informed me that due to the frequency of these particular products being shoplifted, it is CVS store policy to keep them in a locked case, and have customers retrieve them at the register after paying.

Ms. XXXX stated that Mr. Paquette requested over one hundred dollars worth of items. She then brought them to the register to be rung up. After requesting the payment for the items, Mr. Paquette appeared nervous. He then swiped his train pass in the credit card machine. Ms. XXXX informed him that it was a train pass and not a credit card. He then swiped his photo ID in the machine. Ms. XXXX again informed him that she needed a credit card. Mr. Paquette then became aggressive and demanded she give him the items. When she refused he became increasingly aggressive and attempted to come behind the counter. At this point Mr. XXXX came to Ms. XXXX assistance and attempted to intervene.

Both Mr. XXXX and Ms. XXXX stated that Mr. Paquette tried to force his way behind the counter with both hands in his front hoodie pocket and was gesturing as if he had a concealed weapon. He then demanded they give them the money in the register. Mr. XXXX and Ms. XXXX both stated that they believed Mr. Paquette was concealing a weapon and said they feared for their safety. After a brief struggle, Mr. Paquette left the store shouting obscenities at the staff.

They described Mr. Paquette as a white male, wearing glasses, a black hoodie with white writing across the chest, and jeans. Officer DaCosta located Mr. Paquette across the street near the 7-11 convenience store. Officer DaCosta then attempted to stop Mr. Paquette since he fit the description. Mr. Paquette did not immediately stop for Officer DaCosta and proceeded across the street to the train station, where we were able to intercept him. I asked Mr. Paquette if he was at CVS earlier and he stated he was. I then asked what happened when he was at the store and he stated he didn’t remember. He then began to walk away from officers. As we attempted to stop him from leaving he began to pull away and resist our efforts. I then placed him in handcuffs, based on the information provided by CVS employees I conducted a pat frisk to determined if he was armed. No weapons were discovered on Mr. Paquette’s person.

I then proceeded back to CVS and reviewed surveillance footage (available upon request). I was able to positively identify Mr. Paquette as the suspect. I observed him standing at the register, and attempting to force his way around the counter with both hands in his front pockets as he was being blocked by Mr. XXXX and Ms. XXXX. I then explained to Mr. Paquette that he was being placed under arrest for armed robbery. Mr. Paquette stated that he understood why he was being arrested and that it made sense. He was then transported to the Somerville Police Station by Officer W. Collette in prisoner transport unit 200. He was booked by Lt. D. DeOliveira in the usual manner.

Respectfully submitted,
Officer Mark McLaughlin

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