The hunt for a serial convenience store robber led Philadelphia police to the Pocono Mountains, where they arrested the alleged crook on May 20.
Thomas Graham, 44, was arrested in Albrightsville, Carbon County, in connection with three hold-ups at a Mayfair Wawa since March 21, according to Lt. Dennis Rosenbaum of Northeast Detectives. Graham also robbed the same store at 7001 Roosevelt Blvd. on April 15 and May 15 before skipping town, Rosenbaum said.
Police believe Graham has relatives in the Carbon County area.
Surveillance video and public tips helped detectives identify Graham as the culprit. The March 21 heist occurred at about 3:30 a.m. when the crook entered the store wearing a winter cap and a mask covering the lower part of his face. He poured a cup of coffee, placed it on the cashier’s counter and handed some cash to the clerk. He asked the employee how much the coffee cost. When the employee replied with the price, Graham allegedly complained, “Damn that’s a lot.” He motioned to the clerk as if he had a handgun concealed in his jacket pocket, then demanded the contents of the register, police said.
As another patron approached the counter unaware of the robbery in progress, the clerk surrendered an undisclosed wad of cash to the bandit, who fled the store.
Similar robberies occurred on April 15 at about 11:15 p.m. and May 15 at about 11:30 p.m., although the crook skipped his coffee diversion and got straight to the hold-up.
Graham is jailed in Philadelphia prison in lieu of $450,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 5. ••