A man suspected of posing as an HVAC worker in order to gain access to employee break rooms, offices, and storage areas at businesses around Boston, was arrested Wednesday by police in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Brookline Police arrested Anthony Binsfield, 32, after a Panera worker recognized him and called police. Police said Binsfield tried robbing at least five stores on Wednesday in Coolidge Corner including a CVS, Bruegger's Bagels and The Paris Creperie.
Authorities believe Binsfield is the same man seen on surveillance that may be connected to almost 20 incidents in both Brookline and Boston.
Police said in every incident, the man posing as an HVAC worker gained access to private areas at businesses and then stole wallets and other personal belongings.
"He has victimized an awful lot of people especially during the holiday season," said Brookline Police Deputy Superintendent Michael Gropman. "For them to have their identities stolen, money, things like that, it seriously affects the holiday, so we're very relieved."
Police are advising local business owners and employees to ask for identification from any service personnel that request access to private or secure rooms in their establishments.
Binsfield pleaded not guilty Thursday. Among the charges he faced are several counts of larceny from a building and attempting to commit a crime – larceny. The judge imposed a $14,500 cash bail and was ordered to stay away from the businesses he allegedly robbed and to remain drug and alcohol free.
His next court date is Jan. 30.