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Arrest Ended Steak of Robberies, More Charges Have Followed

The man arrested minutes after allegedly robbing Harrigan's Liquor Store last weekend has subsequently been charged in connection with two similar crimes in the weeks leading up to the Hamilton robbery.

When and cornered a yellow Hyundai last weekend in front of and arrested the male passenger, they brought to an end a streak of drug-fueled hold-ups at North Shore stores in recent weeks.

Since Michael A. Gallella of Stoneham in connection to the robbery of , he has been formally charged with similar robberies in Marblehead and Wakefield. And in Reading, many circumstances of are similar too - from the description of the robber plus the use of a similar-looking knife and a getaway car that is much like Gallella’s Hyundai. While police said Gallella is a leading suspect, .

After a dangerousness hearing in Ipswich District Court on Thursday, Gallella will continue to be held without bail. Gallella is scheduled to return to court on March 22 for a probable cause hearing.

In Marblehead, it didn’t take long for police there to make the connection between the suspect arrested in Hamilton and the earlier robbery there. Last Sunday, for his alleged role in of  on Humphrey Street in Marblehead, near the Swampscott town line.

Marblehead police sent a detective to the Middleton Jail to talk to Gallella, but he did not want to talk to police.

After obtaining a search warrant, Hamilton police searched Gallella’s car following his arrest. They found a black hooded sweatshirt, gloves and white sneakers that were all allegedly used in the Marblehead robbery.

On Wednesday, Wakefield police charged Gallella in connection with of on Jan. 17.

"Hamilton arrested him, and according to the photos they released, it seemed to match our guy," Wakefield Police Lt. Craig Calabrese told Wakefield Patch. "So we conducted further investigation over the last couple of days and we’ve determined this is the suspect from the Salem Street robbery."

The robberies appear to be driven by the need to meet a drug habit – at his arraignment last Monday prosecutors said Gallella is drug-dependent and a search of his vehicle after his arrest found evidence of drug use.

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