Police: Man tried to commit 3 robberies in an hour

Joseph Thompson appeared in Providence District Court to face charges related to a weekend crime spree.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Providence man has been ordered held without bail, accused of committing a string of crimes in the city over the weekend.

Police arrested 48-year-old Joseph Thompson Saturday night after three robberies were reported within one hour of each other.

According to police, the first crime occurred at the “Save A Lot” store on Branch Avenue. They said Thompson entered the store around 10 p.m. and demanded money from a cashier. The employee refused, even when the suspect allegedly pulled out a gun.

Police said Thompson then headed to the Cumberland Farms up the road, where he asked an Uber driver for a ride.  The driver agreed and told police Thompson got in the front passenger seat of his white Acura. The driver then said Thompson, “pulled a gun on me and put it in my face.”

The driver managed to jump out and call police. They said Thompson drove off with the car.

Police reports detail the next and final stop in Thompson’s alleged crime spree – an armed robbery at a Providence restaurant.

According to the report, officers were dispatched to Choi Restaurant on Cranston Street around 10:40 p.m. for a report of a robbery at gunpoint.

Upon arrival, the restaurant owners described the suspect as a man matching Thompson’s description. They said he walked up to the counter, grabbed one of the owners by the shirt, and pointed a gun. The owner opened the cash register, and police said the suspect made off with between $400 and $500.

Police later located the stolen car on Westminster Street and took Thompson into custody.