Benicia man suspected of 11 robberies

October 24, 2008 1:08:24 PM PDT
Benicia police said a man arrested Thursday for robbing a bakery last month is also suspected of robbing 10 other businesses, including five Safeway stores, in six Bay Area cities.

Lt. Mike Daley said the suspect's white PT Cruiser was seen at the robbery of a Fairfield Safeway and an alert store employee reported a suspicious PT Cruiser at the Vacaville Safeway. The Vacaville store was not robbed but the employee obtained the car's license number.

Benicia Detective Kenny Hart linked Charles Murray, 46, of Benicia, to the Sept. 27 robbery of Rosanna's European Bakery in the 400 block of East Military based on a witness identification, Daley said. Dixon police spotted Murray's PT Cruiser near a Wal-Mart and arrested him Thursday morning for the Benicia robbery.

Detectives searched Murray's residence in the 400 block of Panorama Drive and his vehicle and found clothing matching that worn by the suspect in the robberies and a black plastic pellet gun that resembles a semi-automatic handgun, Daley said. A handgun was used in several of the other robberies, police said.

Murray was booked under $250,000 bail into the Solano County Jail for the Benicia bakery robbery.

Daley said Murray is suspected of robbing two Safeway stores in Fairfield and one each in Walnut Creek, Martinez, and Vallejo.

He also is suspected of robbing a Wal-Mart in Fairfield; a Home Depot in Vallejo; the Umpqua Bank in Benicia; a Raley's in Fairfield; and a Kinko's store in Pleasant Hill, Daley said.

Murray is expected to be charged with other robberies once police in those jurisdictions have completed their investigations, Daley said.

"It's very unusual that a robbery suspect like this is from our city," Daley said. Almost all of our serious robberies like this, or bank robberies, are committed by criminals who come from other cities. Arresting this person before he could become more aggressive in his method was critical."


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