Portland arrest could solve series of robberies

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PORTLAND — A Windham man accused of robbing the Shaw’s supermarket at 91 Auburn St. is also being investigated in other robberies that happened over the weekend.

Police Lt. Robert Martin said Monday that Joshua Nelson, 45, whose address was not released, was arrested on Congress Street at 11:36 p.m. Sunday, almost two hours after he allegedly threatened a supermarket cashier and fled with a cash drawer containing an undetermined amount of money.

According to the Cumberland County Jail intake log, Nelson was charged with robbery and theft by unauthorized taking.

Martin said Nelson told the cashier he had a gun, but did not display it. No weapon was found when he was arrested.

On Monday, Falmouth Police Lt. John Kilbride said he believes Nelson attempted to rob the Wal-Mart at 206 U.S. Route 1 around 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

Kilbride said the suspect told a cashier he had a weapon and demanded cash. However, the suspect allegedly became frustrated at the delay in getting him money, and fled the store without taking anything.

“We believe he is our guy,” Kilbride said.

Police in Scarborough reported the Wal-Mart at 500 Gallery Blvd. was robbed at around 11 p.m. Dec. 16. On Dec. 17, South Portland Police reported that Shaw’s supermarket at 180 Waterman Drive was robbed around 8 a.m.

In both incidents, police said the suspect, believed to be in his 40s, told cashiers he had a weapon, but never displayed one. Video from the stores led police to believe the same suspect is involved in the two robberies.

In the Scarborough and South Portland robberies, the suspect was described as 5 feet 6 inches to 5-feet 8-inches tall, wearing jeans, a hooded brown jacket and a camouflaged cap, and also had multi-colored stickers on his fingernails.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

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Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.