Worcester man arrested after armed robbery at Auburn mall

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AUBURN — A Worcester man faces multiple charges after allegedly attempting to stab a mall employee during a robbery at the Auburn Mall on Friday.

Rafael Rios Candelaria, 46, was arrested following a foot chase and standoff in a pond behind the Auburn Library, police said.

At approximately 6 p.m., Auburn police received a call from a male employee at Macy’s reporting that a suspect tried to stab him with a knife after attempting to steal about $1,200 worth of fragrances.

The suspect fled on foot towards Southbridge Street.

Additional patrol units deployed in the area due to recent increased criminal activity quickly responded, initiating a foot chase.

Massachusetts State Police K-9 units and an Auburn police drone assisted in the search.

The suspect was eventually flushed into a pond behind the library, where he refused to surrender.

A state police K-9 swam out to guide the suspect to shore on Brotherton Way, where he was taken into custody without further incident.

Candelaria had an active warrant for larceny over $1,200 and disorderly conduct from a previous Auburn incident.

He now faces additional charges of armed robbery, larceny over $1,200, disorderly conduct, and disturbing the peace.

Initially held on $15,040 bail, Candelaria’s bail was later reduced to $2,500 at Worcester District Court.

As of June 25, he remained in custody at the Worcester County House of Correction.

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