The alleged masked red-handed bandit who authorities say robbed at least ten convenience store clerks at knifepoint appeared unmasked and in court Friday but he was still allowed to mostly hide his face.
Thirty-four-year-old Ramfis Casado, of Lynn, is facing more than two dozen charges after a grand jury indicted him for the convenience store robberies, in which police say Casado assaulted several of the clerks before making off with cash from the registers.
“I’m pretty happy he’s caught and my community’s also happy in Melrose,” said Mohammed Nasir, the owner of Bob’s Market.
Bob’s Market in Melrose was one of the stores targeted by the red-handed bandit in November and December of last year.
Casado also allegedly robbed stores in Everett, Woburn, Waltham, Arlington and Malden.
“Whenever the guy put the mask, it’s scary," Nasir said. "And he has a knife, long knife.”
It was similarly terrifying for Mahesh Patel, a clerk who can be seen on surveillance video being robbed at knifepoint at the Highland Smoke Shop in Malden.
“Walking in the store, he had the red gloves and the mask on it and he have the big knife and he showed me the big knife and looking for money,” Patel said.
It was in Malden that a police officer confronted the thief outside the In & Out Convenience Store after another armed robbery. The officer chased the suspect to a stolen BMW, which eventually led to surveillance video and a warrant for Casado’s property that prosecutors say matched the clothes the red-handed bandit was wearing.
Nasir said, “I hope and I pray, I wish long punishment.”
Casado is being held without bail, pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for March 6.