NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — New Bedford detectives believe they may have stopped a robbery from happening late Monday night in Wareham.
The suspected robber, Rashaun Raheem Burgess, and his alleged lookout, Carlos Martinez, were arrested at about 10 p.m. and charged with committing a string of armed robberies last month.
Throughout the month of May, a number of stores in New Bedford and the surrounding communities were held up by a man wielding a pink stun gun, according to police.
Over the past several days, investigators pinpointed an SUV they believed was being used as a getaway car in the robberies.
While conducting surveillance on the vehicle Monday, detectives believed the suspects were in the process of committing a robbery at the Cumberland Farms near Wareham Crossing and converged on the vehicle.
Police said Burgess had clothing matching the previous robberies and the pink stun gun was located inside Martinez’s vehicle, as well as a knife. Both suspects were taken into custody without incident.
Investigators believe Martinez acted as a lookout in the robberies. They said he would enter the store and make a small purchase while surveying the store, then his alleged cohort would enter the store and commit the robbery within minutes of Martinez leaving.
The suspects would then drive off in the SUV, according to police.
Burgess and Martinez are facing charges in connection with armed robberies at the One Stop gas station on Route 6 on May 11, the AL Prime Energy on Rockdale Avenue on May 23, the Cumberland Farms on Ashley Boulevard on May 29, and the Cumberland Farms on Acushnet Avenue on May 30. Burgess is also charged with an armed robbery on May 18 at the Brock Ave. Variety Store.
Prosecutor Chris Abreu said Martinez told police he was involved in the robberies.
“I know whatever he’s being charged with he’s not guilty of. He has too much to lose to do something like that,” said his sister Kathleen Buitiago. “You’d get emotional if your brother was going to jail for something he didn’t commit.”
According to Martinez’s attorney, he admitted to being in the stores but not to helping rob them.
New Bedford detectives have reached out to police in Fall River, Fairhaven, and Taunton and expect the pair to be charged with more crimes.
Both men are scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in New Bedford District Court.