An Open Letter to the Masked Man in Black Who Tried to Rob an Ipswich Gas Station


Friend, I want to help you. Clearly, you have issues.
According to a story in the Boston Globe on November 11, you went to Haverhill first, where you tried to rob the Peking Garden Chinese Restaurant. This was perhaps your first mistake, because not that many people in Haverhill love Chinese food, so there’s not going to be all that much money in the cash register. Haverhill is more of a beer and pizza town. As an alternative, try Roma’s, right there on Middlesex St., just off of Main; they have both an Italian and a Greek menu.
You left Peking Garden around 6 p.m., according to Globe Correspondent Jaclyn Reiss, but didn’t show up at the Prime Energy gas station at Lord’s Square in Ipswich until 9 p.m. My friend, I have not lived in Ipswich very long, but even I know it does not take three hours to get from Haverhill to Ipswich. What route did you take? If you stay on 97 till you get to Georgetown, then keep going straight, which actually puts you on 133 without your realizing it, you should be able to get from Peking Garden to the Prime station in about half an hour, 35 minutes tops. I imagine you got goofed up in Georgetown, didn’t you? If you don’t get off 97 there, you can find yourself in Beverly before you know it, crossing the bridge into Salem and wondering how the heck you got there. I sympathize, my friend. I have done this more than once.
Or perhaps you got to Ipswich in good time, but then made the mistake of stopping as you approached Lord’s Square. A lot of people do this, mostly folks from Rowley. If you’re going to rob the Prime station, you need to understand: the Lord’s Square stop sign is not for you. This stop sign is only for people who want to proceed on High Street, perhaps to rob a funeral home or a B&B. I feel badly for you, sitting at that stop sign, with the gas station fully visible, in fact just a stone’s throw away — your target in range — and yet, you can’t get there. And if you drove straight past the stop sign, then realized your error, you had the additional problem of being unable to turn right on Short Street, because it’s one-way going the wrong way! You must have been very, very frustrated.
I suggest if you want to do robberies in Ipswich, get GPS. Be careful, though; your equipment may need some prep time. It took until last week for my own GPS unit to figure out which way Short Street goes.
Finally, a word about technique. Ipswich Police Sergeant Jonathan Hubbard reportedly told the Globe that you “showed a firearm to the gas station, but then took off.” Unless this is a typo, you seem to lack a certain basic understanding of the fundamentals of gas station robbery. You cannot simply show your firearm to the gas station. You are supposed to show your firearm to the person who works at the gas station. The gas station is inanimate. It does not see your gun, it does not feel fear, and it cannot give you any money. The only thing it can do on its own is give you gasoline. Even then, you need a credit card to work the pump. And if you had a valid credit card, I guess you wouldn’t be robbing gas stations.
It might be better for you to pursue another line of work. For example, we happen to have a couple openings at the moment in our school system. I can imagine a masked man in a black hood bringing a whole new dynamic to School Committee meetings. What did you get your degree in, may I ask?

Share your crime tips with “Outsidah” Doug Brendel at



4 thoughts on “An Open Letter to the Masked Man in Black Who Tried to Rob an Ipswich Gas Station

  1. Zanne

    Hmm. This is quite informative and entertaining, and I am sure terribly helpful to the Man in Black. But it also appears to be a blog in sheep’s clothing, as i detect a semi-subliminal anti-Ipswich traffic message here…

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