Rhode Island and Massachusetts Law Enforcement Agencies Seek Serial Bank Robber
$5,000 Reward Offered for Information Leading to Arrest of “Bearded Bandit”
|FBI Boston July 19, 2012|
The FBI Boston Division’s Violent Crimes Task Force, along with the Seekonk Police Department (in Massachusetts) and Cranston, Warwick, and North Providence Police Departments (in Rhode Island), are seeking the public’s assistance to identify the “Bearded Bandit,” a serial bank robber. The Bearded Bandit is alleged to be responsible for one bank robbery in Massachusetts and three bank robberies in Rhode Island since February 2012. A joint multi-state investigation is underway to determine the identity of the robber.
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During three of the robberies, the Bearded Bandit said he had a firearm. In each of the robberies, he threatened to harm the tellers. The same robber is believed to be responsible for robbing each of the four banks.
On February 23, 2012, the Bank of America branch located at 1021 Fall River Avenue, Seekonk, Massachusetts, was robbed at approximately 11:22 a.m. A middle-aged white male, approximately 5’10” to 6’ tall with long dark hair (possibly a wig), dark beard, and wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and a black cap, entered the bank. The suspect approached the bank teller, asked for money with no security or dye packs, and stated he had a weapon under his sweatshirt. After receiving money, the suspect fled in an unknown direction.
On April 16, 2012, at approximately 2:47 p.m., the Citizens Bank branch located at 1030 Park Avenue, Cranston, Rhode Island, was robbed by an individual with the same physical characteristics listed above. The robber wore a dark brown hooded sweatshirt and a khaki-colored baseball hat with hair tucked up and appeared to be speaking on a cell phone. The male suspect approached a bank teller and demanded money. The robber threatened the teller. After obtaining money, he fled on foot heading in a southerly direction toward Lovell St.
On May 7, 2012, at approximately 2:08 p.m., the Bank of America branch located at 900 Bald Hill Road, Warwick, Rhode Island, was robbed by an individual with the same physical characteristics listed above, with long dark hair, a dark beard, and wearing a dark gray hooded sweatshirt with flames, a blue knit hat, and dark sweatpants with white stripes. He demanded money from the teller, said he had a firearm in his possession, and threatened the teller. After obtaining the money, he fled on foot in an unknown direction.
On June 27, 2012, at approximately 2:17 p.m., the Bank of America branch located at 1625 Mineral Spring Avenue, North Providence, Rhode Island, was robbed by a similar individual wearing a brown hooded jacket and black track pants with white racing stripes, blue knit hat covering his entire head, and a dark beard. The suspect approached a bank teller and demanded money. The robber threatened the teller and said he had a firearm in his possession. After receiving money, the suspect fled the bank heading north behind the Bank of America branch towards Lee Avenue.
FBI Boston Division Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers said, “Experience shows that residents in Rhode Island and Massachusetts are the FBI’s best ally to identify bank robbers. I hope the Bearded Bandit will soon be identified as a result of the media attention and the public’s help.”
Major Robert W. Ryan of the Cranston Police Department said, “The dissemination and sharing of information has proven to be a very effective tool in law enforcement and input from the public is always appreciated and often useful. The individual who has been dubbed the Bearded Bandit is a dangerous felon who needs to be brought to justice, and it is likely that someone from the public will help us do just that.”
A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the charging and arrest of the bank robber. The FBI is offering a $2,500 reward and Bank of America is offering $2,500. Anyone with information regarding the Bearded Bandit is asked to call the FBI at (617) 742-5533 or call the Seekonk, Cranston, Warwick, or North Providence Police Departments.
***UPDATE: July 31, 2012***
On July 26, 2012, the Bank of America located at 257 County Road, Barrington, Rhode Island, was robbed at approximately 3:35 p.m. The suspect, described as a white male in his 30s, about 5’8” to 5’10” tall, with a full beard, wearing a blue knit cap and a brown long sleeve hooded sweatshirt, entered the bank. The suspect did not brandish a weapon, nor state that he had a weapon, but did indeed pass a note to the bank teller. After receiving money, he fled on foot in an unknown direction with an undisclosed amount of cash.