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ATTLEBORO - A suspect in about a dozen robberies in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, including four in Seekonk and Attleboro, was arrested early Friday morning, allegedly after fleeing a robbery in Foster, R.I., and leading police on a chase.

Gregory L. Coffey, 24, of 21 Pomona Ave., Providence, was being held in Rhode Island for robberies in that state and is suspected of being the getaway driver in two robberies in Seekonk early Tuesday morning and committing two holdups in Attleboro later the same night.

"He's looking at at least a dozen robberies in which he has been identified in," Attleboro Detective James Cote said.

Cote, who investigated the holdup at the Citgo gas station on South Avenue Tuesday night, interviewed Coffey Friday morning at the Rhode Island State Police headquarters in Situate.

"He was doing the robberies because he was a heroin addict," Cote said. Attleboro police had identified Coffey as the suspect in the Citgo robbery and a robbery moments later at the Getty gas station on Newport Avenue, investigated by Detective Richard Campion, after similar robberies in Warwick, R.I.

Coffey is the alleged getaway driver in the robbery of the Dunkin' Donuts on Route 6 in Seekonk and the holdup about a mile away at Don's Mobil on Route 114A near Interstate 195. Those robberies were committed within a short time span around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, police said.

His alleged accomplice, Steve J. Wahl, 52, of Providence, was apprehended after a vehicle chase into Providence in which Coffey got away, police said.

But police say Coffey's luck ran out shortly after midnight when a Sunoco gas station in Foster was robbed around 12:05 a.m. Friday by a man who fled on foot.

Rhode Island State Police responded to assist Foster police when they noticed a car traveling at a high rate of speed on Hartford Avenue, just west of Interstate 295 in Johnson, R.I., police said.

The troopers said the car was similar to the description of a vehicle in other robberies in the area and attempted to catch up to the car, according to a statement by Rhode Island State Police.

State police pulled behind the vehicle when it turned into a Shell gas station on Hartford Avenue, but the vehicle quickly sped away, police said.

Troopers pursued the vehicle on Hartford Avenue into Providence, where the driver lost control and struck shrubbery before hitting the side of the Burger King restaurant at 60 Hartford Ave.

The driver, later identified as Coffey, ran away but was quickly apprehended by Rhode Island State Police Troopers Scott Carlsten and Peter Cambio.

Inside the vehicle, which was reported stolen, was clothing, a replica Tech 9 semi-automatic gun and cash allegedly stolen in the Foster robbery, according to police. Coffey was charged with robbery, eluding police, resisting arrest, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, receiving stolen goods, and driving with a suspended license. He is also under investigation for a robbery in Providence, police said.

Both Wahl and Coffey are in custody in Rhode Island and it is not yet known when they will be returned to Massachusetts in connection with the robberies in Seekonk and Attleboro.
 
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