When 44-year-old Anthony Simons allegedly pulled a knife out and demanded a Wallingford convenient store employee hand over cash in the register, it wasn’t the first time he committed such a crime, police said.
That’s because Simons, a West Haven resident, is being accused of committing the same type of armed robbery several times between September and December in Milford, Guilford, Branford and Middletown, apart from the Krauszer’s on South Main Street in Wallingford on Dec. 4.
It started in Milford, where police in that city were searching for a man — known as the “hoodie robber” — who was involved in four different robberies between September and October. Just like in Wallingford, Simons came in to different convenience stores and would threaten the employees with a knife while demanding cash.
According to a warrant filed in Middlesex Superior Court, that man — later identified as Simons — was also involved in two armed robberies of a Gulf gas station in Branford on Nov. 17, a Bristol convenience store on Nov. 18 and a Shelton Citgo store on Nov. 30.
Then, on Dec. 1, police said Simons robbed the Gulf gas station on Washington Street in Middletown, making off with some $300 after threatening the employee with a knife.
Simons was eventually arrested less than 24 hours following a robbery of Guilford Convenience on Dec. 8, following the collaborative efforts of the Guilford, West Haven and Milford police departments, authorities said at the time.
In a sworn statement to Middletown police, Simons said his crack cocaine addiction movtivated him to commit the crimes.
“I would buy crack and smoke it; when I was out of money I would commit robberies at convenience stores in gas stations,” Simons told investigators. "I would keep a knife in my sweatshirt pocket and would only show it to the clerk if I needed to."
In the same warrant, police said he confessed to the Middletown robbery and Milford police also said he confessed to the four robberies in that city.
Simons faces a laundry list of criminal charges, most of them robberies and larcenies, stemming from a slew of arrests, according to the state judicial branch’s website. He remains in custody on multiple bonds and is due back in court on March 13.
He also has a criminal record which, according to the state, includes being convicted of arson back in 1991.