Former Providence Resident Pleads Guilty in Federal Court to Robbing Four Banks in Four Days
PROVIDENCE, RI—Vaughn Watrous, 38, formerly of Providence, pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence today to robbing four banks, two in Providence and two in Cranston, on four consecutive days in February 2013, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Cranston Police Chief Colonel Michael J. Winquist, Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr., and Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of the FBI.
Appearing before U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., Watrous pleaded guilty to four counts of bank robbery. He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 19, 2016.
At the time of his guilty plea, Watrous admitted to the court that on consecutive dates beginning on February 11, 2013, he robbed Sovereign Bank branch offices on North Main Street in Providence, Atwells Avenue in Providence, and on Reservoir Avenue in Cranston. He also admitted that on February 14, 2013, he robbed a Citizens Bank branch office located inside a supermarket on Garfield Avenue in Cranston.
In each instance, Watrous passed a note to a bank teller announcing the robbery, demanding large bills and instructing tellers not to trigger the bank alarm.
According to information presented to the court, Cranston police officers who responded to the robbery of the Citizens Bank branch office developed information that Watrous may have fled into a nearby store. Officers observed the defendant leaving that store and immediately arrested him. As they did, a large pile of cash fell to the ground. Additionally, officers recovered $690 hidden inside Watrous’ left shoe, $80 from inside his right front pocket and $240 from inside his left front pocket.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John P. McAdams, with the assistance of Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee H. Vilker.
The robberies were investigated by officers and detectives from the Cranston and Providence Police Departments and agents from the FBI.