A Woburn man pleaded guilty to robbery charges in within a span of two days in Woburn and Burlington, Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone informed the public today.
According to a release from the District Attorney, Matthew Pappas, 18, of Woburn, pleaded guilty to charges of armed robbery (3 counts), armed assault with the intent to rob (2 counts), masked armed robbery, and assault with a dangerous weapon (6 counts).
Judge Elizabeth Fahey sentenced the defendant to ten years probation with the conditions that he is ordered to remain drug free, undergo a substance abuse evaluation and mental health evaluation as well as follow up treatment, the release states. Pappas was also ordered not to have contact with any of the victims in the case, maintain full-time work or school, and to remain on house arrest with GPS monitoring for the first year of probation with windows of release to accommodate school, work, and/or church.
"This defendant has admitted and taken responsibility for engaging in a 28-hour crime spree, displaying a firearm and demanding the valuables of six separate innocent victims, placing them in tremendous fear,” District Attorney Leone said. “The defendant’s actions were extremely disturbing and alarming to law enforcement and the public. By pleading guilty today, the defendant is admitting his responsibility for his brazen crimes.”
According to authorities, at approximately 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 20, 2010, the first victim was shopping at the in Burlington. When the victim exited the store, she walked towards her car and was approached by the defendant and a second individual. The defendant demanded that the victim give him her purse and lifted his shirt to expose a black hand-gun tucked into the waistband of his shorts. Fearing for her life, the victim handed her purse to the defendant before he and the other individual fled the scene.
On Sept. 21, 2010, at approximately 3:20 p.m., a second victim was waiting at a bus stop on Montvale Avenue in Woburn when the defendant walked by the victim, pulled a black handgun out from his shorts and demanded that the victim give him her purse, officials said in the release. Afraid, the victim handed her purse to the defendant and he fled the area.
That same night, at approximately 10 p.m., a third victim was carrying groceries to her car in the parking lot of the Shaw’s Market in Burlington when she was approached by the defendant who exposed a gun inside his sweatshirt before demanding her purse. The victim handed the defendant her purse and he left the area on foot.
The District Attorney reports that again on that same night, the defendant approached a fourth victim on Federal Street in Woburn, pointed a handgun at the victim’s stomach, and demanded her purse. According to authorities, the victim was able to enter her vehicle and the defendant fled after she put her car in gear.
Shortly after the incident on Federal Street, the defendant attempted to rob a fifth victim a short distance away on North Warren Street, authorities reported. The defendant had a mask over his face and approached the victim who was in her vehicle. The defendant pointed a handgun at the victim and demanded her purse. The defendant fled the area when the victim began honking her vehicle’s horn.
A sixth incident took place at approximately 1 a.m., on Sept. 22, 2010, outside a convenience store on Main Street in Woburn, a short distance from North Warren Street. Authorities determined that the defendant was wearing a mask and tugged on the victim’s purse as she was walking through the parking lot. The victim saw a handgun in the defendant’s hand before he left the parking lot with the victim’s purse.
Woburn police were already in the area of Main Street when the sixth incident was reported, the District Attorney's release states. A Woburn police officer located the defendant hiding in bushes on Franklin Street. Upon seeing the officer, the defendant ran and a foot pursuit ensued. The defendant was located hiding under a pickup truck in a parking lot on Winn Street. He was arrested and brought to the Woburn Police Department for booking.
The defendant was arraigned on Sept. 24, 2010 in Woburn District Court where he was held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing. On Sept. 29 he was deemed dangerous and again held without bail. Following an appeal by defense counsel to a Superior Court Judge, the defendant was released on house arrest with a GPS bracelet. He was indicted by a Middlesex grand jury on Nov. 23, 2010 and arraigned on Dec. 9, 2010 where Middlesex Superior Court Clerk Magistrate Michael Sullivan ordered the defendant held on $5,000 cash bail with conditions.