MANCHESTER - A Laurel Street family, robbed by a gunman in October who made off with the grandmother's prescribed pain medication, said the man returned again last Thursday in search of more drugs. This time, he left empty-handed.
Christina Cutter, 38, said she just returned from grocery shopping about 11:30 a.m. and was sitting at the kitchen table with her 62-year-old mother, Nancy Savage, in the 213 Laurel St. apartment when the man appeared.
The sun was shining that day, she said, and although it was chilly outside, they decided to leave the interior door open to let the sun stream in but made sure the storm door was locked.
Cutter saw a shadow and turned toward the door, expecting to hear a knock but, she said, a man yanked the door open and barged into the kitchen demanding her mother's medication.
Cutter said it was the same man who robbed them and held a gun to her teenage daughter's head on the afternoon of Oct. 13. The man, as in the first incident, was not wearing a mask.
"We begged and pleaded with him," Cutter said, her voice catching. "This time he didn't show a gun. We told him she doesn't get the pills anymore."
The intruder, she said, called her mother by her first name. She believes he knew it because her name was on the medication he stole in the October robbery.
Savage has a degenerative back disorder and was taking oxycodone to relieve the pain. In October, the thief made off with her red-and-black canvas bag containing not only her pain medication but other prescriptions as well. Her insurance company replaced some of the medication but not the oxycodone. Cutter says her mother cannot afford to buy it so she is making due with Advil.
Cutter thinks the man found out about her mother's medication through a friend of her step-brother.
Her mother could barely breathe when she called police to report what happened Thursday, she said. Cutter is upset with police, particularly over a flippant remark she said an officer made. "When my mother was talking to police, they asked her if they found the man if she wanted them to tell him not to come back," Cutter said.
Lt. Maureen Tessier said police have taken both incidents seriously. In the first, they tried to find witnesses or security cameras that could document the robbery but were unsuccessful. In the second, the officer verified the storm door could be yanked open, even when locked, and not cause any damage. And, she said, officers brought in a police dog to try and track the intruder, but too much time had passed by the time it arrived for the dog to find a trail.
The family is hoping that by publicizing the second robbery attempt and putting out another description of the man, that police will be tipped to the identity of the robber.
Cutter said the intruder was a black man, about 5-foot-8, with a medium build wearing what appears to be a new black leather jacket with zippers, blue-gray hooded sweatshirt underneath, blue jeans and sneakers. He was clean shaven.
The family plans to move out of the Laurel Street apartment as soon as they are financially able.