A Tucson man arrested in connection with a string of East Side armed robberies had previously worked as a Golder Ranch Fire District firefighter.

On March 29, Tucson police arrested Fidel Burton Encinas, 41, on six counts of armed robbery and six counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Encinas served as a firefighter and EMT with the Golder Ranch Fire District from 2002 until January 2006, district officials confirmed.

Police suspect Encinas targeted businesses as well as citizens in a small area on the city's East Side.  He used a handgun and made aggressive and violent demands for cash, police said.

Police say Encinas' robbery streak began March 24, when he is suspected of robbing the Viva Burrito restaurant at 8555 E. Speedway Boulevard.

Later that day, police believe Encinas attempted to rob a man near the area of Harrison Road and Broadway Boulevard. Then, later that night, he is suspected of robbing another person outside of the McDonald's Restaurant located at Camino Seco and Broadway Boulevard. Shortly after that, he is suspected robbing the Walgreen's pharmacy at Speedway and Pantano Road.

The following day, police say Encinas robbed a Sonic restaurant on Broadway near Harrison Road.  Later that night, police say he robbed the Valero Service Station, located at 9520 E. 22 Street.

All the robberies were committed within a few miles of where Encinas lived, near the intersection of Broadway and Camino Seco. He lived in the house with his mother, police said.

A review of court records shows Encinas has a history of criminal convictions, with guilty judgments in at least five cases dating from 1995 to 2005.

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