Robbery Case is a Sad Reflection of the Economy

An East Boston man’s arrest last week shows just how desperate some people have become in this down economy.

Marquis Allen, 21, an expectant father from East Boston said he only grabbed a stranger’s gold necklace because he had money problems and was concerned for his unborn baby’s future.

Allen was arraigned in East Boston District Court on an unarmed robbery charge stemming from the incident on Marion Street last week. Prosecutors recommended that he be held on $5,000 cash bail. However, Judge Roberto Ronquillo Jr. took pity on the soon-to-be father and set bail at $1,500 but granted prosecutors’ request that he be ordered to stay away from the victim while the case is pending.

Boston Police on patrol in Eagle Hill received a report of an unarmed robbery between Paris and Chelsea streets. The suspect – who had snatched a gold necklace from the neck of another Eastie man – was described as a black male about six feet tall wearing a beige shirt and dark jeans who had fled north on foot.

Minutes later, officers spotted Allen, who met that description, walking up Brooks Street and making a left onto Lexington Street. They stopped him and noted that he was sweating and appeared anxious. The victim was brought to the scene and positively identified Allen as the assailant. Allen was then taken into custody.

During a search of his person, the officers recovered from his right front pants pocket a chain identical to the one described by the victim. Officers photographed it and returned it to the victim, who suffered a small scratch where it had been yanked from his neck.

During the booking process at District 7, an officer asked Allen why he’d stolen the chain.

“I’m having a baby,” he allegedly said. “I needed the money.”

Allen will return to court on September 1.

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