Police may be on the verge of solving a series of splash-and-grab robberies in which the thieves throw hot chocolate or coffee on store clerks and then flee with money from cash registers.
A suspect in at least some of the robberies was arrested yesterday during a routine motor vehicle stop at Route 30 and Nicholson Road in Woodlynne, N.J., Voorhees Township police said.
Kareem A. Hutt, 26, of Chestnut Avenue, Woodlynne, was charged with aggravated assault and robbery in connection with a holdup on Feb. 12 at a Wawa Market in Voorhees. He was held in $50,000 cash bail.
Police said a second suspect is being sought in at least 19 convenience-store robberies in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
The robbers throw the scalding liquids, which they purchase in the stores, and flee while the clerk is distracted by pain.
Cops said some of the victims suffered serious burns.
Police haven't revealed how much money was taken in the heists but have speculated that the take hasn't been large because the robberies were carried out late at night or in the early hours of the morning, when not much cash is on hand.
Three of the robberies occurred in Philadelphia: Feb. 10 at the 7-Eleven on Harbison Avenue near Tulip Street in the Northeast; Feb. 13 at the 7-Eleven on Mascher Street near Louden in the Northeast; and Feb. 13 at a Wawa on Columbus Boulevard near Tasker Street in South Philadelphia.