Saugus robbery foiled when cop walks into donut shop
By Andrew Ryan, Globe Correspondent

Criminals take note: That old cliche about police hanging around doughnut shops proved true last night in Saugus. A uniformed Melrose police officer fetching coffee for the midnight shift walked into a Dunkin' Donuts on Route 1 and foiled an armed robbery.

"It was a terrific job by an alert Melrose officer," said Saugus Lieutenant Mike Annese. "Going to get a cup of coffee and he ended up stopping an armed robbery."

In Melrose, all the coffee shops close early. That prompted police officer Paul McNamara to drive to the Dunkin Donuts on Route 1 at Essex Street when he went to buy java for the crew starting the graveyard shift.

When McNamara walked into the shop, other customers looked at the officer's blue uniform and started nodding their heads toward the register. A man wearing a hood and a handkerchief to obscure his face had flashed a silver handgun and demanded money, according to Annese.

Realizing it was robbery, McNamara pulled his gun and ordered the suspect to get on the ground, Annese said. The man started to get on all fours, but then made a break for the door.

The suspect slipped and fell on his way out of the Dunkin Donuts. McNamara chased him outside, where police said the man's sister was waiting in a van. McNamara was able to pull the key out of the ignition and stop the pair from driving off, but not before they drove over his foot. He was not seriously injured, said Melrose police spokesman Detective Sgt. Barry Campbell.

Police identified the suspects as Allen Freda, 45, and Danielle Freda, 33, both of Saugus. They are scheduled to be arraigned today in court.