After six armed robberies in six days, police in the Portland, Maine area are collaborating to see if a single suspect is behind all the crimes.
The robberies started on March 20 at a gas station in Portland. Since then, convenience stores in Cumberland, Falmouth, and Westbrook have been robbed by a man holding a handgun, completely covered by dark clothing.
This weekend, the Daily Grind coffee shop in Westbrook and the China Taste restaurant in Portland were robbed by a similar suspect displaying a gun.
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"This is a very serious situation," said Portland Police Lt. Robert Martin. While Lt. Martin said he cannot confidently state the same suspect is behind all six robberies, he said the similarities are striking.
"The gun, the height, the general description, the demeanor of the robber when he commits these is the same," he said.
In all six cases, the suspect is described as a white male between 5 feet 5 inches and 5 feet 7 inches.
According to Daily Grind owner Joe Salisbury, the robber was relatively calm.
"He said 'Listen, I'm not going to harm you at all,'" Salisbury said. It was his 16-year-old stepdaughter at the cash register when the robber arrived.
"The guy walked in, he had the gun up to his chest, didn't point it at her but showed it to her," said Salisbury. "He said 'Just do as I say,' he called her 'honey' and 'sweetie.' 'Do what I say and I'll be out of here in a few minutes.'"
Police believe the suspect is parking a getaway vehicle a short distance from the targets, walking into the businesses, then running back to his car with the cash.
Lt. Martin is asking anyone who lives near the targeted areas to double check surveillance footage for any suspicious people or cars.
"This is a desperate person who more than likely will continue what he's doing," said Lt. Martin. "Eventually something is coming to happen. There could be an armed confrontation."