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Cops: Arrests end cross-country crime spree

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Patrick Markey

Cops finally caught up with Boston’s Irish Bloods.

California police have arrested John Joseph Lydon and Paul Francis Devlin and charged the Bostonians with a brutal robbery, ending what investigators described as a violent, coast-to-coast crime spree.

The two Irish-American men, both of whom have the phrase "Irish Blood," tattooed on their chests and leprechauns and shamrocks sketched into their arms, are charged with a vicious stabbing and robbery in Santa Monica and a series of armed robberies and burglaries in Maine.

Police said the two men were arrested in San Francisco when an alert club bouncer recognized them from police photos and noticed their East Coast accents.

"They’re South Boston boys. They hang out in a bar that’s associated with Whitey Bulger," said Det. Tom Cryan of the York Police Department in Maine, referring the fugitive South Boston gangster. "It’s something they do to boost their Irishness. Devlin also used a lot of aliases that are related to his Irish background."

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Cryan said the two men have extensive criminal histories and had served time together in prison, where the tattoos originated.

Police said the cross-country banditry started in York, Maine, where the Boston men allegedly robbed a jewelry store at gunpoint. Detectives also want to question Lydon and Devlin about a string of burglaries and thefts and another armed robbery in Kittery, Maine.

The U.S. Marshall’s service become involved in the investigation after Lydon and Devlin crossed the state line, fleeing Maine and heading to New York City and Boston. Lydon and another suspect flew to Arizona from JFK Airport. Devlin met up with them after leaving Boston, police said.

The two men then traveled into Mexico and back up through the West Coast to North Hollywood.

According to Santa Monica Police Department, the two fugitives were arrested three weeks ago on charges of attempted murder and robbery of a Santa Monica man. The 47-year-old victim had been stabbed several times with a knife, beaten and robbed at his home.

Lydon and Devlin are being held by Santa Monica police on more than $1 million bail and a federal no-release hold as investigators look into allegations made against them in other states.

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