Cops and Robbers In the Square


Shortly after midnight Wednesday morning, three men committed three armed robberies near Harvard Square in the space of half an hour. Police apprehended two suspects after a high-speed car chase, and the third is still at large.

The three men first robbed Robert Blattner '74 and Leslie Siefert '75 near Leverett House; Blattner received minor lacerations on his neck from a knife one of the men carried.

Then the robbers moved on to Holyoke St., where they took a watch from Joseph P. McLafferty '75 at gunpoint, and robbed Leo W. Fraser, a Columbia University senior, of $25 and a watch. Fraser suffered knife wounds in the nose and cheek.

Sgt. Allan D. Hughes and patrolman Harold E. Pearson of the Cambridge Police, who were dispatched to the scene of the crime after University police notified their Cambridge counterparts of the thefts, sighted the suspects driving a stolen Buick on Mass Ave. and signaled them to stop.

The three men made a U-turn, sped down Mass Ave. in the wrong direction, and the chase was on.


The thieves crossed into Boston, with Hughes and Pearson in pursuit. The chase ended when the men crashed their car into two parked cars and stopped in the middle of the street. The police seized two of the men, but the third escaped by foot.

All four victims, according to the police report, positively identified the stolen objects recovered by the police, but only Siefert and McLafferty positively identified the suspects as the men who held them up.

Blattner said that the robbers were "smooth" and seemed so dissatisfied with the $14 they took from him and Siefert that he was momentarily afraid they would kill him.

McLafferty said "a black man appeared to be coming up from Winthrop House. He said to me, 'How's it going, man?' and pointed a gun at me, adding, 'stay cool, man,' which I did."

Police charged the two captured suspects with armed robbery, receiving stolen property and numerous traffic violations.

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