A 23-year-old Dedham man pleaded not guilty today to two robberies at a Dunkin’ Donuts shop in Canton as police continued to investigate whether he was connected to a crime spree that included holdups of some two dozen such stores in the past nine months.
Isaiah Murphy was ordered held on $200,000 cash bail after his arraignment in Stoughton District Court on charges of armed robbery while wearing a mask.
Assistant Norfolk District Attorney Chris Meade said Murphy had once worked at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Westwood but left the job under “less than amiable” circumstances.
Meade said a search of Murphy’s home had uncovered sneakers that looked like those that were observed on the robber who committed two Dunkin’ Donuts robberies in Canton, on June 30 and July 24.
The search of the home that Murphy shares with his mother also found two .45-caliber bullets and a container of BB gun pellets and BBs.
“There are 15 different communities that we believe have seen the same type of robberies,” Meade said.
Defense attorney Jim Gavigan said his client and his family were “devastated.”
“These are extremely egregious charges to be facing,” he said.
He said Murphy had been working a full-time job at the Macy’s distribution center in Dedham and was a 2008 graduate of that town’s high school.
Murphy’s mother, grandmother, and aunt were in the courtroom. His mother looked distraught, waving at her son to try to get his attention. A court officer had to tell her to sit down. Murphy, wearing a dark coat and dark hoodie, remained stoic. He looked and nodded at her.
Canton police said Tuesday that a search of Murphy’s home on Washington Street that morning had yielded evidence linking him to “many of the affected” stores. Murphy was arrested Tuesday afternoon.
The robbery spree has hit more than a dozen Eastern Massachusetts communities, including Newton, Norton, West Roxbury, Raynham, Walpole, Canton, Plainville, Avon, and Westwood. Robberies have been reported as recently as this month, though police do not believe all of them are connected to the main spree.
In all the robberies, the suspect wielded either a gun or a knife.