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Abington store clerk foils armed robbery, but gets beaten by suspect’s partner, police say

An Abington convenience store clerk wielding a baseball bat chased an armed suspect who tried to rob his store early Friday, but ran into the thief’s accomplice and was beaten with a 2-by-4 piece of lumber, police said.

“It’s very unusual,” said Abington police Chief David Majenski. “I would never ­encourage any clerk to do what he did. It took a very brave individual, but it’s also a calculated risk.”

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Officer Stephen Marquardt of the Abington police had alerted store owners after a Weymouth gas station was held up Thursday at 10 p.m., said Majenski.

Weymouth released a descrip­tion of the pair of robbers and their getaway vehicle, a white Dodge pickup truck, Majenski said.

Marquardt stopped by the 7-Eleven on Brockton Avenue and urged the clerks to be vigilant, advice that would soon come in handy.

At 3:45 Friday morning, Abington police received a call about a robbery at that same 7-Eleven, Majenski said.

Jon Harrington, 42, and Bruce Provan, 38, both of ­Weymouth, were arrested later in the morning in connection with that armed robbery, said Majenski. The pair are scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Brockton District Court on armed robbery charges, said Russell Eonas, assistant district attorney for Plymouth County.

The store clerk told police that he felt uneasy as soon as Harrington entered the store, according to Majenski. Surveillance video shows the clerk ­positioning a baseball bat ­behind the counter shortly after Harrington walked into the 24-hour store.

Harrington walked around the store, made a purchase, and left, Majenski said.

“He cased the place,” Majenski said. “Then he gave his buddy the details.”

About a minute later, a man police later identified as Provan entered the store, pointed a gun at the clerk, and demanded money, Majenski said. “The clerk had been prepared,” he said. “He sort of acted like he was reaching for the cash register, reached for the baseball bat instead, and proceeded to strike him with the bat.”

Visibly stunned, Provan ran out of the store, according to Majenski. But the clerk wasn’t done with him yet.

He chased Provan down the street, repeatedly beating him with the bat, Majenski said. In the chase, Provan dropped the gun, which was later recovered by police, said Majenski.

The robber ran to the parking lot, where Harrington was waiting in the front seat of a white pickup truck, he said. Harrington allegedly got out of the vehicle and beat the store clerk with a 2-by-4 that he had grabbed from the flatbed of the truck, Majenski said.

After a quick battle, the ­alleged robbers fled. Abington police arrived at the scene and quickly notified Weymouth ­police, Majenski said.

Weymouth police had several suspects in Thursday’s gas station robbery and decided to pay a visit to Harrington’s home on Thicket Street in Weymouth, Majenski said. A short while later, Harrington pulled up in a truck matching the description of the vehicle used in both robberies, Majenski said. The suspect was also wearing the same clothes described by the 7-
Eleven store clerk.

Police said Harrington dropped Provan off at his ­Randolph Street home before returning home, he said.

The store clerk identified him as the man who entered the 7-Eleven and beat him with a piece of wood, Majenski said. Harrington was arrested in his driveway at 4:45 a.m., he said.

Provan was arrested at 8:30 a.m. at home, Majenski said.

The suspect had injuries consistent with being hit with a baseball bat, he said. He was taken to Brockton Hospital, treated for his injuries, and released to police, Majenski said.

Although Majenski was glad to hear the clerk was not hurt, he was careful not to ­advise other store owners to take justice into their own hands.

Melissa Werthmann
can be reached at melissa.
werthmann@globe.com
.
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