BANGOR, Maine — It took police about four hours to catch up with the man they believe robbed the Bank of America branch on Union Street just after it opened at 9 a.m. Thursday, according to Sgt. Paul Edwards of the Bangor Police Department.
Troy Gay, 21, of Greenbush was arrested at about 1:15 p.m. on Perkins Street and charged with felony Class B robbery, punishable by up to 10 years in jail and a $20,000 fine. An undisclosed amount of money was recovered on Gay, Edwards said.
Catching the suspect was just luck, Edwards said.
Police allege that Gay is the masked man who walked into the Union Street bank just after the bank opened at 9 a.m. demanding cash.
“He said, ‘This is a robbery. I want the money,’” Bangor police Lt. Tim Reid, who leads the department’s investigative division, said while standing outside of the bank.
A bank employee called 911 at 9:11 a.m. to report the crime, and a bank alarm also alerted police to the robbery at the branch located on the corner of Union Street and Griffin Road.
Gay reportedly had his face covered with “some kind of a white, tight-fitting mask” and wore sunglasses during the robbery, Reid said.
After getting an undisclosed amount of cash, the suspect fled on foot, crossed Union Street and last was seen walking through the parking lot of the Mobil on the Run toward the U-Wash-It carwash, Edwards said earlier in the day while the search was still going on.
“No weapons are known to have been shown, and no injuries were reported,” he said.
During the robbery, Gay reportedly was wearing baggy jeans and a gray hooded sweat shirt with the words “New England Patriots” across the front. Police didn’t say whether he was wearing the same clothing when arrested.
Gay was picked up near the Union Street Towing impound lot in Bangor, where “he had some interest in a car,” Edwards said.
Garfield “Butch” Foss, owner of the impound lot, said Thursday night that he did not know why police arrested Gay, but knew they were looking for him.
“They called us and said if this guy shows up, call us,” Foss said, adding that is exactly what happened.
Gay had a car in the lot that Foss said he believed had been in a recent accident.
After the bank was robbed, police could be seen canvassing the New Capehart area in vehicles and on foot, talking to people walking by and some driving in the area. At one point just before 11 a.m., an officer was seen taking photos at the U-Wash-It.
“At this point, we’re assuming he probably had a vehicle” possibly parked at the convenience store or carwash, Reid said before Gay’s arrest.
State police canines were called in to help with the search and lost the suspect’s scent near the convenience store.
Bank surveillance cameras caught the suspect on tape and police officers searching the area were quickly sent an image to their mobile laptops.
A green car driven by an Old Town man who matched the description of the robbery suspect was stopped and searched on Hammond Street just after 1 p.m. and later released. Just before or while the car was being searched, other police officers were arresting Gay around the corner.
The bank was closed for the day. Bank customers who tried to enter the building Thursday morning found the front doors locked. Many of them went through the bank’s drive-through ATM to complete their transactions.
Gay was taken to the Penobscot County Jail. He is scheduled to have his first appearance in 3rd District Court on Friday, a jail official said. Gay was not wearing a New England Patriots sweat shirt when he was processed into jail, he said.
Gay has been arrested for other infractions. He was sentenced in April 2007 to three days in jail and a $1,500 fine for his conviction on two counts of allowing minors to consume or possess liquor and was fined $200 for possessing liquor as a minor during the same incident.
The bank at 1176 Union St. is just down the street from the TD Banknorth bank at 1067 Union St. that was robbed April 20. The suspect in the TD Banknorth case, Lawrence Mark Sullivan, 30, of North Stonington, Conn., was arrested a few days after that robbery in his home state.
Bank of America has three branches in Bangor. The Bangor Mall branch was robbed at gunpoint on Oct. 4, 2006, by Irishman Niall Clarke, 27, who was sentenced in April. District Judge John Woodcock sentenced Clarke to 33 months in prison for the armed robbery with an additional seven years because he brandished a gun.