Portsmouth police arrest suspect in grocery store robberies

Published 3:01 pm Wednesday, July 24, 2013

PORTSMOUTH—A Portsmouth man was arrested early Tuesday in connection with recent attempted robberies of two grocery stores in Franklin, two grocery store robberies in Portsmouth, as well as a Wal-Mart in Suffolk, according to Det. Jan Clark of the Portsmouth Police Department.

Michael Anthony Richardson, 47, of the 4700 block of High Street, Portsmouth, was turned over to the Portsmouth Sheriff’s Office. Portsmouth detectives charged Richardson in connection to two recent separate robberies of the Food Lion and Farm Fresh in the 4000 block of Victory Boulevard, Portsmouth.

Franklin Police were notified by Portsmouth authorities on Monday evening that they had a suspect in custody for crimes in their city similar to those in Franklin, said Lt. Tim Whitt, spokesman for Franklin Police. He added that an investigator from Franklin went to Portsmouth and interviewed the suspect.

In the 2 o’clock hour last Friday afternoon, a then unidentified man reportedly threatened cashiers at the Farm Fresh and Food Lion respectively on Armory Drive in Franklin, according to Whitt. The suspect, who wore different clothes for each attempt, was unsuccessful in both tries to get money. He was seen getting into a burgundy Lincoln Town car.

During a routine patrol around 5 p.m. Monday, said Clark, a Portsmouth police officer spotted a vehicle matching the description in the 1000 block of Broad Street, Portsmouth. The vehicle was parked at the Economy Lodge, and fit the description provided by witnesses in the Food Lion incident. The officer coordinated a search of the area along with other police and detectives. Richardson was found inside one of the hotel rooms. He was immediately recognized from surveillance photographs.

Richardson was also wanted for failing to register as a sex offender.

He was taken into custody. Officers recovered evidence at the hotel linking Richardson to several robberies. Detectives from the Suffolk Police Department and the Franklin Police Department assisted in the investigation. Richardson is facing additional charges in both cities, including two warrants for attempted robbery.