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Robbery suspects chased off by store owner

July 3, 2014

WOONSOCKET – Two masked youths entered a convenience store located at 200 Dulude Ave. Thursday afternoon and attempted to rob the proprietor at gunpoint, police said.
The youths fled empty-handed after the woman behind the counter of Leon’s T&D Market picked up a telephone and told them she was calling the police, she told a reporter.
“They said, ‘Gimme all your money,’” the woman explained. “I had the phone in my hand. I said I’m calling the cops.”
The woman seemed unfazed by the encounter, which might seem odd, given the circumstances: Though she wouldn’t give her name, she identified herself as the daughter of the late Leon Kamer, who was shot to death during a holdup of the same store 17 years ago.
At that time, the police captured the alleged shooter, a 15-year-old boy who confessed to the crime. The boy was later tried, but a judge threw out the confession because it was obtained outside the presence of an adult guardian, and he was eventually acquitted by a jury.
A swarm of detectives descended on T&D Market after the attempted robbery, about 1 p.m., to question neighbors, search the neighborhood and get a look at surveillance video, said Detective Sgt. Matt Ryan, a spokesman for the police department. No one was arrested, but Ryan said police have some solid leads.
“They didn’t get anything, but we’ve got good surveillance video,” he said. “What we have is promising.”
The Kamers have family ties to the Woonsocket Police Department. Detective Sgt. Phil Kamer was among the police who responded to the scene. He was seen leaving the store with other detectives Thursday, a look of grave concern on his face as he returned to an unmarked vehicle.
One man who lives across the street he said he was in his apartment when he noticed two black youths about 16 years old walking into the store. One of them had a backpack strapped to his back.
A few minutes later, the man said, the youths came running out of the store. They ran toward nearby Robinson Street, turned right, and disappeared.
“It’s a crazy thing, right in the middle of the day like that,” he said. “This neighborhood is always crazy like this in the summer.”

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