Robber tied to two Rutland holdups
Granville Police have discovered a clear connection between a pair of robberies at the Main Street TD Bank branch and two previous bank robberies in Vermont. The investigation of the second robbery in five days solidified the connection, which law enforcement suspected after the first robbery, police said Tuesday.
Few questions now remain whether the two robbers are linked, and a clearer connection between robberies emerged between the male suspect and prior robberies across the border in Rutland and West Rutland, Vt., Granville Police Sgt. David Williams said
Photos released by Vermont State Police of the male robber at two locations, Lake Sunapee Bank in West Rutland and Merchant’s Bank in Rutland, show the same suspect clearly in both cases, a suspect who bears a striking resemblance to the robber from Saturday morning, Oct. 29.
The male robbery suspect in Granville was a thin, white male around 6 feet tall, wore a dark colored jacket over a white hooded sweatshirt and had a dark colored baseball cap, walked into the bank and displayed a note to the teller demanding cash and implying he had a gun about 11:45 a.m.
Witnesses said the man was challenged by a teller in the bank as he entered and advised to remove his hood, but he ignored the teller and proceeded to a window.
The suspect had a beard police referred to as “un-groomed” in a dark color, likely brown or reddish brown. The suspect also has a wide, black earring referred to as a ‘gauge’ in his left ear and has a tattoo on his right wrist, in the Vermont bank surveillance photos
After leaving the bank the suspect turned to his right and went down the stairs into the parking area behind the bank and from there left the area.
Multiple factors could have led the pair to select the branch, police said including the proximity to Vermont, multiple escape routes and the relatively low density of law enforcement in the area.
A lack of security cameras in the area outside the bank, especially behind the branch could have led to its being targeted by the robbers, as well.
In both cases the suspects fled the bank and took the metal stairs down to the parking area allowing them to leave the area without being seen.
Police confirmed they searched the area after the robbery for evidence of the suspect including looking into the dumpster for anything possibly stashed after the robbery.
Also confirmed were reports the woman might have left the area in a four-door car with New Jersey license plates, possibly dark red or maroon in color, police said.
No report of a similar vehicle was made Saturday.
Police began looking into whether the first robbery was in some way linked due to recent bank robbery activity nearby in Vermont from the beginning. The second robbery, this time by a male suspect who closely resembled an already wanted Vermont bank robber, seemed to confirm that theory, however investigators have been careful not to lock in on one theory.
“We’re going to go wherever the leads take us,” Williams said.
This method of robbing banks and the appearance of the robbers has been used several times over at least the past two months in parts of Vermont according to various published reports.
After the Oct. 25 robbery, based at least in part on the proximity of the state border and the fact that the female suspect was not recognized by local police, Granville Police reached out to the Vermont State Police.
The two groups met after the robbery to compare notes. The fact the robbers were not concerned about covering their faces speaks to the likelihood they are from outside the area, Williams said.
The similar method of a similar-looking male suspect has been reported in bank robberies of the Lake Sunapee Bank in West Rutland Oct. 7 and the Merchant’s Bank in Rutland Green Mountain Plaza in Rutland Sept. 7.
The suspect in both Rutland-area cases, captured on bank surveillance videos, is a slim, pale skinned white male about 6 feet tall wearing a dark colored hooded sweatshirt and a baseball cap.