Lexington police have arrested a man they think is responsible for at least 16 recent robberies in Lexington and surrounding counties.
Charles W. Davidson, 22, of Lexington, was charged Friday with 16 counts of first-degree robbery, parole violation, being a felon in possession of a handgun and wanton endangerment. He is suspected of robbing the Waffle House on Athens-Boonesboro Road shortly after 11 p.m. Thursday.
Davidson was being sought in connection with an unrelated wanton endangerment investigation, Lt. Raymond Roller said. The victim in that case told police that Davidson was the man responsible for the robberies, Roller said. He declined to elaborate.
"We're still continuing the investigation," Roller said.
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Police found Davidson at St. Joseph East Hospital after receiving a tip that he was being treated for an unrelated medical issue. He was arrested initially on an outstanding warrant, Roller said.
A rash of robberies has plagued Lexington and surrounding county businesses in recent months.
About 10 businesses have been hit in Lexington in November, including two Subway restaurants, a Wendy's on New Circle Road, CorLeoni's pizza restaurant on Winchester Road, a Sun Tan City on Richmond Road and two branches of Southern Rays Tanning, one on Richmond Road and one on Keithshire Way.
In each one, a robber with what appeared to be pantyhose or a mesh cloth over his face displayed a silver handgun and demanded cash. Police say they believe he then ran to a car nearby and drove away.
Roller said Davidson might be linked to earlier robberies in Lexington in which the robber wore a Halloween mask.
Roller would not disclose how much money had been taken.
"It obviously impacted a large amount of people throughout our community and surrounding communities," Roller said.
Roller said it was too early to say specifically which robberies Davidson was linked to.
"It's possible we may have some robberies with other suspects, but he definitely was involved in multiple," Roller said.
With Davidson behind bars, Roller said police and business owners could breathe a sigh of relief.
"We've expended a lot of effort trying to catch this suspect, and we're obviously very pleased that we've caught him," he said.
Davidson was lodged in the Fayette County jail on Friday night on $172,735 full cash bond.