Convicted armed robber went on a new robbery spree that included a Dunkin' Donuts in Fields Corner, feds say

Surveillance photos of Lahens at the Dunkin' Donuts

Surveillance photos of Lahens at the Fields Corner Dunkin' Donuts, from affidavit of FBI agent.

A Dorchester man who held up a series of stores at knifepoint this past spring, less than three months after he was released from a a 30-month sentence for armed robberies in New York City, now faces up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted, authorities say.

In a federal complaint released Monday, Akeem Lahens, 33, was formally charged with one count of affecting commerce by armed robbery for robberies of a Boost Mobile store at 373 Centre St. in Jamaica Plain's Hyde Square on April 26, the Cricket Wireless store at 306 Centre St. in Jamaica Plain's Jackson Square on April 27 and the Dunkin' Donuts at 1580 Dorchester Ave. on May 4. In all the cases, he used two large knives to demand money, according to an affidavit by an FBI agent on the case.

He is also a suspect in the robbery of a Metro by T Mobile Store at 1049 Tremont St. in Roxbury on April 21, although he was not charged in federal court for that robbery, the affidavit states.

According to federal Bureau of Prison records, Lahens was released on Feb. 16 of this year after completing a 30-month sentence for his conviction for an armed-robbery spree across the Bronx and Brooklyn. He was on a three-year federal parole sentence when he allegedly committed the Jamaica Plain and Dorchester robberies.

Boston Police officers, State Police and federal agents began investigating Lahens after a friend of his children's mother told police that her friend had told her Lahens had committed two recent robberies and that she put 2 and 2 together about the Jamaica Plain holdups after she did "Google searches of the robberies and saw media coverage related to the armed robberies."

In all the robberies, the FBI says, Lahens wielded two knives and tried to force the employees he held up into the back. During the Boost Mobile holdup, he wore a pair of blue sandals. Employees at all the locations quickly picked him out of photo arrays based in part on his distinctive goatee - he did not wear a mask.

The affidavit provides this account of the Dunkin' Donuts holdup:

"On Thursday, May 4, 2023, at approximately 7:40 p.m., the Robber entered Dunkin Donuts located at 1580 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester, Massachusetts. The victim clerks described the Robber as a black male wearing a blue Sweatshirt, gray sweatpants, Nike sneakers, and a green hat. The Robber brandished two knives and made a verbal demand for money. The Robber stole approximately $200.00 from the cashier drawers, forced the victim clerks into the store bathroom, closed the door, and fled in an unknown direction."

The affidavit adds that during the Boost Mobile robbery in Jamaica Plain, Lahens punched one of the clerks in the face after she tried to stop him from taking her purse.

According to the affidavit, when police, troopers and agents raided Lahens' apartment at 12 Bailey St. on May 6, they found two large knives and two sandals.

In the New York case, prosecutors provided this account:

"From June through November 2020, the defendant went on an armed robbery spree, committing 16 knifepoint robberies in Boston and New York City… During the first robbery, committed in Boston on or about June 16, 2020, the defendant entered a tax preparation business, posed as a customer, withdrew a kitchen knife from his backpack and demanded money… Boston Police arrested the defendant for the robbery on July 10, 2020… Shortly after he was arrested for that robbery and released, the defendant began his New York City-wide robbery spree on July 23, 2020… While the location changed, the defendant’s modus operandi remained the same. Between the Bronx and Brooklyn, the defendant robbed 15 mobile phone stores, brandishing one or two kitchen knives, and demanding money and cell phones from the terrified store employees… During one of the robberies, the defendant slashed a store employee during a struggle, which required stitches to close."

Complete affidavit (1.3M PDF).




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