Accused bank robber charged with similar crime in Howland

Posted May 08, 2009, at 10:31 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 12:13 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The Greenbush man charged with robbing a bank in Bangor on Thursday faced a second bank robbery charge by the time he made his first appearance in court Friday.

Troy Gay, 21, is charged with robbing Bangor Savings Bank in Howland on Monday, April 27, and the Bank of America branch on Union Street in Bangor on Thursday morning. He made his first appearance Friday afternoon in 3rd District Court in Bangor before Judge Jesse Gunther.

He remained Friday night in the Penobscot County jail unable to make bail that Gunther set at $20,000 cash or $100,000 surety, which is the amount James Diehl, assistant district attorney for Penobscot County, recommended. Gay told the judge through Carolyn Adams, the Bangor attorney who represented him at Friday’s hearing, that he could raise only about $1,000 cash.

He used similar methods in both robberies, according to the affidavits filed Friday. Gay allegedly entered both banks shortly after 9 a.m. when they opened for business. He also allegedly was observed by witnesses around the banks the day before each robbery.

Gay walked up to tellers in each bank, according to the affidavits, and demanded money. He did not brandish a weapon at either location or hand them a note. At the Bangor bank, Gay reportedly thanked a teller and, as he left, said, “Just want you to know there was no gun involved.”

He took $3,098 in the Howland robbery according to court documents. The amount taken in the Bangor robbery was not included in the affidavit about the Bangor robbery. Investigators reportedly found a large amount of cash buried behind a friend’s house on Lonnie Loop in Old Town. The amount recovered was not disclosed in court documents.

Several people who live near the Howland bank reportedly told Maine State Police detectives that they had seen a black Volkswagen Jetta with a smashed-out driver’s side window and a loud muffler the night before and the day of the bank robbery. One witness gave police Gay’s license plate number, according to the affidavit. At least one other person, according to court documents, told investigators that Gay had talked to friends about having robbed the Howland bank.

Gay’s car is what led to his arrest Thursday by Bangor police near the Perkins Street impound lot. His car had been towed there from Penobscot Street in Bangor about 10 p.m. Wednesday night because it had two flat tires. That, along with the broken window, made it a traffic hazard, according to Bangor police.

About 8:30 a.m. Thursday, the alleged bank robber dropped off his Old Town friend, in whose backyard the police allegedly found the buried money, at District Court in Bangor. Gay left the courthouse driving his friend’s Hyundai, according to court documents, and allegedly robbed the Union Street bank after parking the car behind the Airport Mall. Police believe he fled in the vehicle.

About an hour after the robbery, Maine State Police detectives met with Bangor detectives and concluded that Gay was responsible for both robberies. The fact that Gay’s car was at the impound lot also was shared with investigators, according to court documents. Bangor police asked the owner of the lot to let them know if Gay showed up.

Meanwhile, Gay picked up his friend at the Bangor courthouse shortly before noon, drove to his friend’s house in Old Town and buried something in the backyard, according to court documents. The two men then returned to Bangor and Gay’s friend dropped him off at the impound lot to retrieve his car.

An employee at the impound lot called police shortly after 1 p.m. to report that Gay had arrived asking about getting his car, according to the affidavit. An officer who had been watching the lot went inside and arrested Gay without incident. He had an undisclosed amount of money on him, police said.

About 2:30 p.m., police stopped Gay’s friend on Hammond Street and searched his car, according to court documents. During an interview with him they reportedly learned where Gay had buried the money.

Penobscot County District Attorney R. Christopher Almy said Friday morning that there was some evidence that Gay intended to use the money from the bank robberies to buy drugs in Massachusetts. The prosecutor said he did not believe the money taken in the Howland robbery had been recovered.

If convicted, Gay faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000 for each robbery. He also could be ordered to pay restitution.

Gay is expected to be indicted later this month by the Penobscot County grand jury for robbing both banks.

jharrison@bangordailynews.net

990-8207

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