Officers initially received a report of an aggravated burglary at the Co-Op in Sutton Road, Southend, shortly before 5.10pm on Monday April 11.
Shortly afterwards, a man was seen to get into a car in Sutton Road and threaten the driver with a knife. The driver was unhurt but left shaken.
Police arrested Lee Gannon, 42, unemployed, of Oakleigh Avenue, Southend, on Tuesday April 12.
He was charged last night with kidnap in relation to the Sutton Road car incident; aggravated burglary in relation to the Co-Op incident; possession of a bladed article; a burglary at Linens Direct in High Street, Southend, on April 2; a burglary at WHSmith in High Street, Southend, on April 11; and a burglary at Holland and Barrett in High Street, Southend, on April 12.
He has appeared at Southend Magistrates Court this morning, Thursday April 14.