CANTON — Police on Tuesday arrested a Dedham man and charged him with robbing a Dunkin’ Donuts shop twice, a potential break in solving a crime spree that included holdups of some two dozen such stores in the past nine months.
Canton police said Isaiah Murphy, 23, has so far been implicated only with robbing the same doughnut store in Canton on two occasions at gunpoint over the summer. However, a search of Murphy’s home on Washington Street on Tuesday morning yielded evidence linking him to “many of the affected” stores, Canton police said.
Police Chief Kenneth Berkowitz would not provide details of the evidence.
“The investigation is still very hot,” Berkowitz said at a news conference, adding that he would not elaborate “because we’re still looking into more charges for him and to see if there are any more participants.”
Murphy was arrested Tuesday afternoon and is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Stoughton District Court, police said. It was not known whether he had hired a lawyer, and his family could not be located for comment.
The robberies have spanned more than a dozen communities including Newton, Norton, West Roxbury, Raynham, Walpole, Canton, Plainville, Avon, and Westwood. Heists have been reported as recently as this month, though police do not believe all of them are connected to the main spree.
In all of the robberies, the suspect brandished either a gun or a knife.
“We are gratified to learn that the Canton police have arrested a suspect in connection with the string of robberies at Dunkin’ Donuts in the Greater Boston area,” said Lindsay Harrington, a spokeswoman for the Canton-based Dunkin’ Brands Inc., in a statement.
The company had offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
“We are working with the Canton PD to determine if a tip led to the arrest of the suspect,’’ Harrington said. “If not, we intend to donate the reward.”
Berkowitz said that Murphy has a minor criminal record and may have worked at a Dunkin’ Donuts store in the past, though he did not say where.
“He was familiar with the operation and took advantage of that,” said Berkowitz, adding that investigators do not believe Murphy had a vendetta against the company but simply wanted cash. He said Murphy did not come away with “a ton of money” from any of the robberies, but it became a substantial cumulative sum.
Harrington said in a follow-up statement that she could not confirm whether Murphy had worked at a Dunkin’ location.
There was no answer on Monday at Murphy’s apartment.
A married couple who are neighbors of Murphy said they had recently seen a number of unmarked police cars in the neighborhood.
“We were wondering why, because the last two weeks it was every single day,” said the husband, who would only give his first name, Naim.
His wife, who would only identify herself as Nibal, was stunned when a reporter showed her a photograph of Murphy’s mugshot that Canton police released.
“Oh my God, that’s him,” she exclaimed, her eyes widening.
The couple said they rarely spoke to Murphy. “He kind of keeps to himself,” Naim said.
Berkowitz, the Canton chief, said police had been tracking several suspects, adding that “good old-fashioned detective work” led authorities to zero in on Murphy.
He said detectives spent many hours pouring over surveillance footage of the various robberies.
“Obviously, [he’s] a dangerous person,” Berkowitz said. “We wanted to take him off the street, but we wanted to do it the right way.”
In recent months, Murphy has been cited for a number of motor vehicle violations, including speeding and failure to stop, records show. He also was found to be at fault for a car accident in Dedham on Aug. 16, according to his driving record.
Murphy’s driver’s license is currently suspended for defaulting on a fine payment, and he faces sanctions for other driving infractions, said a spokesman for the state Department of
David Traub, a spokesman for Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey, whose office is prosecuting Murphy, said in an e-mail that Morrissey “thanked the Canton Police Department and other agencies involved for the long cooperation and work that brought them to the point of an arrest.”