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Suspect in peninsula armed robberies arrested

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An alleged serial armed robbery suspect was arrested Wednesday in South San Francisco following 10 or more robberies at businesses in San Mateo County between June and September, police said.

San Bruno man Blake Townsend, 28, was arrested after officers were sent at 1 p.m. to the 700 block of El Camino Real because someone called to say someone was robbing a gas station there.

Police allege Townsend went into the gas station with a mask on, brandished a gun and demanded money from the clerk.

Police said this was how Townsend robbed the other businesses, which were gas stations or businesses in small strip malls.

Townsend alleging ran away after robbing the gas station. Officers responded and got a description of Townsend.

Police allege the description matched descriptions in other armed robberies.

Officers searched the area and detained Townsend nearby. According to police, he was identified as the suspect by witnesses and in the other robberies by detectives.

Police said Townsend was found with a black pellet gun that looked like a real handgun.

Townsend allegedly robbed businesses in San Mateo, Daly City, San Bruno and Burlingame besides South San Francisco.

Townsend was taken to the county jail and booked on suspicion of numerous counts of armed robbery and burglary.

Anyone with more information about Townsend or the robberies is asked to call police at (650) 877-8900 or contact them anonymously at (650) 952-2244 or tips@ssf.net.

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