Police have arrested a man they believe robbed multiple stores at gunpoint in the Boston neighborhoods of Brighton and Mattapan.
Tuesday, police arrested 35-year-old Thomas Huggins of Mattapan. He is accused of robbing a Papa John's and a Cricket Wireless on River Street in that neighborhood on Jan. 9. The following night, police say he and another person robbed Quality Market on North Beacon Street in Brighton.
"It was shock, surprising," said Chris Jean Baptiste, who was on duty at Papa John's during the daytime robbery.
Huggins, Baptiste said, was fired from the same shop.
"He came in and walked toward the back, and I was like, 'Hey, you can't do that, bro. You don't work here anymore,'" he recalled. "All I saw was his hand holding my boss' shirt, and the gun out."
The suspect forced the boss to empty the register, then had the whole team empty their wallets for him, according to his former co-worker.
Minutes later, police say Huggins robbed the nearby Cricket Wireless.
The next night, employees at the Quality Market say a man and a woman entered the store and the man demanded money after showing a handgun. They left the store with cash, and the woman, whose identity has not been released, was arrested on Commonwealth Avenue later that night, according to police.
Authorities say they are seeking firearm charges against Huggins. He is being investigated in at least six incidents in Mattapan and Brighton.
Boston Police say Huggins hid in a closet before a "violent struggle" with the officers who arrested him Tuesday afternoon. A 9mm Ruger pistol was found in his home.
Anyone with information is asked to call Boston Police at 617-343-4256 or leave an anonymous tip at 1-800-494-TIPS.