Man tried to fake heart attack so accomplice could rob Mass. store, police say

MALDEN, Mass. (WCVB/CNN) - Police in Massachusetts are searching for a man who they say attempted to fake a heart attack as a distraction before another suspect robbed a CVS store.

Officers responded Sunday to a CVS in Malden, Mass., for a report of a theft. Witnesses reported two white men entered the store together, and according to police, one of them can be seen in surveillance video placing his hand on his chest, pretending to have a heart attack.

“We’ve seen some interesting ones, but obviously, this one didn’t work. He’s got to have some more practice,” said Capt. Marc Gatcomb with the Malden Police Department.

Police say they are still looking for the man accused of feigning a heart attack, identified as 30-year-old Jesse Meharg. His alleged accomplice has been arrested.
Police say they are still looking for the man accused of feigning a heart attack, identified as 30-year-old Jesse Meharg. His alleged accomplice has been arrested. (Source: Malden Police Department/WCVB/CNN)

Afterward, the suspects approached the front counter with a couple of drinks. As soon as the cash register opened, the man who had not faked the heart attack jumped over the counter and stole cash from the register.

Both men fled the store, according to authorities. As they did so, a concerned citizen stepped in, tripping one of the robbers, and the other man had to scramble to recover the money.

Thanks to tips from the public, police arrested 31-year-old Vyacheslav Phinney, said to be the man who jumped the counter, on Tuesday.

Police say they are still looking for the man accused of feigning a heart attack, identified as 30-year-old Jesse Meharg.

“We would like to make sure they’re both held accountable for their actions, and also to make sure his ‘heart problems’ have been taken care of by a medical professional,” wrote police on Facebook.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Malden Police.

“Acting Gone Bad” On 06/16/2019, the Malden Police responded to a local business on Broadway for a report of a theft....

Posted by Malden Police on Monday, June 17, 2019

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