Man Allegedly Poses as Veteran, Solicits Donations in Swampscott

Sean Murphy, described by police as a "career criminal," is accused of illegally using a veteran organization's insignias while trying to solicit money from people outside a Whole Foods store in Swampscott, Massachusetts

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It was in a parking lot of the Whole Foods in Swampscott, Massachusetts, that a man described by police as a "career criminal" got into trouble with the law yet again.

"He was wearing camo shorts, a green shirt, a camo hat with veterans' pins on it," said Swampscott Police patrolman John Cassidy.

Cassidy says the man appeared to be a veteran and was soliciting donations.

"When I asked him what he was doing, he said he was getting signatures for homeless veterans," said Cassidy.

Cassidy says it turns out that the man was 57-year-old Sean Murphy, who has been well known in criminal circles for years.

"Self-proclaimed master thief," said Cassidy.

Murphy just finished serving a lengthy prison sentence, charged in high-profile crimes including a Brink's heist in Ohio, and a $2-million theft in Massachusetts in which Super Bowl rings and precious metals were stolen.

Now, he's added more to his lengthy record for the Whole Foods incident, as he's charged with larceny and unlawful use of a veteran organization's insignia.

NBC10 Boston tried reaching Murphy at the home address in Lynn listed on the police report, but it appeared abandoned, and there was no answer on the phone numbers he gave police.

"I'm a veteran myself," said Cassidy. "It's pretty frustrating that someone would use someone else's status to take money from others and use it for his own benefit."

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