Mainland Manhunt Ends Here; Suspect Seized in Aquinnah

Gazette Senior Writer

A high-octane mainland manhunt for two suspects who were allegedly involved in a wild crime spree in Braintree last week led police to the tiny town of Aquinnah on Saturday night, where one of the suspects was found holed up in a private home.

William Brymer, 31, of Quincy, was arrested without incident by a large contingent of local police late Saturday, following a tip that eventually led them to a private home on Lobsterville Road in the remote western reaches of the Vineyard.

Widely reported in the regional print press, the crime spree late last week included an attempted armed bank robbery and car jacking.

According to police accounts here, on Saturday night state police Sgt. Jeffrey Stone and trooper Michael Cusolito went first to the town of Tisbury, where they had received a report that Mr. Brymer was on Main street. The information proved to be untrue, but police then followed the trail to Aquinnah, where Mr. Brymer was found in the private home on Lobsterville Road. Aquinnah police Sgt. Randhi Belain said Mr. Brymer did not resist arrest and has not been charged with any criminal activity on the Vineyard.

Police officers from West Tisbury and Chilmark assisted, along with two police officers from Braintree.

Mr. Brymer was transported to the Edgartown house of correction. He was held there pending transport to Boston today, where he is expected to be arraigned in Boston district court on a number of outstanding charges, including motor vehicle violations and larceny. Mr. Brymer has not been charged with armed robbery, although Lieut. Russell Jenkins of the Braintree police confirmed yesterday that Mr. Brymer is a suspect in the robbery. Lieutenant Jenkins is leading the investigation into the incidents.

On Thursday night last week, two masked gunmen armed with large handguns robbed the Telephone Workers Credit Union in Braintree, and then fled the scene in a stolen car. The men were reportedly wearing bandanas for masks at the time of the robbery. They then drove to an area behind the South Shore Plaza in a bit of driving hopscotch that involved two stolen cars. The two men then car jacked a pickup truck. The driver of the truck was not injured. The robbers later threatened other motorists, reportedly waving their guns at them, and car jacked another car belonging to a woman. A number of witnesses later gave breathless accounts of the crime spree.

The episode sparked a massive manhunt in Braintree and Quincy that involved police SWAT teams, helicopters, K-9 units and the FBI.

Using police dogs, law enforcement officials tracked the two men to a Home Depot in Quincy and then lost the trail. On Friday the two suspects were still at large.

Police seized four vehicles that were involved in the crime spree. The amount of money stolen from the credit union has not been disclosed.

Then on Saturday the trail led to the Vineyard.

Lieutenant Jenkins said police believe Mr. Brymer was driven to Cape Cod by a friend, and that he traveled to the Vineyard as a foot passenger on a ferry sometime between Friday morning and Saturday night.

Lieutenant Jenkins confirmed that Mr. Brymer has family connections on the Vineyard.

Sergeant Belain said yesterday that he was contacted by Sergeant Stone at about 10:30 p.m., and police arrested Mr. Brymer about an hour later. Braintree detectives Brian Cohoon and Mark Sherrick traveled to the Vineyard to assist local police.

The other suspect in the incident is still at large, and Lieutenant Jenkins said yesterday that there may be more suspects as well.

Sergeant Belain said there was some tension preceding the arrest, given the nature of the crimes that had taken place on the South Shore last week, but he said in the end it all went without conflict.

"I'm just glad the outcome was what it was - it could have been a bad situation but it turned out fine," Sergeant Belain said.