Westbrook police arrested a suspect in one of the recent armed robberies targeting small businesses across southern Maine.

Travis Card, 38, of Westbrook, was arrested Friday morning in connection with a robbery that occurred on April 6 at the Gulf Mart on Bridgton Road in Westbrook, police said. It’s not yet clear if the suspect is connected with any of the other 13 unsolved robberies in the region, including three other hold-ups in the city of Westbrook.

Travis Card

Local police and the FBI have been investigating the possible connection between 15 armed robberies in less than four weeks, including a cluster of four robberies in a little more than 25 hours this week. In most cases, the suspect was identified as a white man covered in dark clothing and armed with a handgun entering a small business and demanding cash from employees. The majority of the robberies occurred shortly before closing at small businesses where only one or two employees were present.

Card was taken into custody without incident during a traffic stop on William Clarke Drive at approximately 6:30 a.m. Friday, according to Capt. Steven Goldberg of the Westbrook Police Department. Police executed search warrants on his vehicle and at his apartment on Mechanic Street.

The arrest was a joint operation by police departments in Westbrook, South Portland and Portland, as well as the FBI. The investigation is ongoing, and no further details were released Friday morning. A news conference is scheduled for Friday afternoon.

A suspect had previously been arrested and charged with one of the robberies – the April 7 holdup in Gorham – but police have said the others may be connected to each other, and some police statements suggest the unsolved robberies may have been carried out by the same man.

The unusual rash of robberies put the owners and employees of small businesses on alert, and led police to increase patrols and advise businesses to not take any risks if they are targeted. Police are advising people to comply with his demands rather than trying to resist or fight back, but business owners appeared to be increasingly frustrated and defiant, even keeping loaded guns behind the counters in case they were targeted.

Four of the recent robberies took place in Westbrook, which was the hardest hit community. Nine different communities between Old Orchard Beach and Auburn had at least one armed robbery since March 20.

This story will be updated.

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