Chief praises work in bank robbery case

Posted June 17, 2010, at 11:23 p.m.
This image from a security camera at TD Bank in Newport shows the suspect in a robbery at the bank Wednesday. (PHOTO COURTESY OF MAINE STATE POLICE)
MAINE STATE POLICE
This image from a security camera at TD Bank in Newport shows the suspect in a robbery at the bank Wednesday. (PHOTO COURTESY OF MAINE STATE POLICE)

NEWPORT, Maine — Bank tellers who played it by the book, law enforcement agencies that collaborated well and a local cop going above and beyond the call of duty all contributed to the successful closure of a March 31 bank robbery case, according to Newport Police Chief Leonard Macdaid.

State, county and local police, as well as game wardens with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, all converged on Newport on the morning of March 31 after employees at TD Bank reported a robbery.

By then, Bo H. Rodden, 19, of Berwick had already fled the scene and was headed for Lowell, Mass., to purchase drugs, according to Macdaid, who recognized several people involved in the case during a selectmen’s meeting Wednesday evening.

“Whenever you have a bank robbery, it’s a bad thing,” said Macdaid. “What takes place from that point forward determines what type of town and bank employees you have. This one turned out positive and we ended up arresting the person.”

Receiving the highest kudos from Macdaid were Kerri Gordon, the bank teller who was held up, and her supervisor, Jane Hanson, who Macdaid said trained Gordon well.

“Kerri Gordon’s calm, cool manner prevented herself from getting hurt,” said Macdaid. “She did exactly what she was supposed to do, right by the book.”

According to court documents summarized in a previous article in the Bangor Daily News, Rodden handed Gordon a note that read, “This is a stick up. I have a gun. All $1, $50s and $10s in an envelope. No [expletive] die packs.” Gordon handed over $1,800.

Macdaid said that sometimes during a major incident, the multiple agencies involved don’t work efficiently with one another. That wasn’t the case on March 31, thanks to Lt. Wesley Hussey, who oversees the Maine State Police’s Troop E in Orono. State police Sgt. Sean Hashey and Detective Jarod Stedman both worked “hand in hand” with Newport Lt. Randy Wing for days and weeks after the robbery, said Macdaid.

While Wing and other local officers followed up on tips in Newport, Stedman chased down the ones out of town.

“That was really above and beyond what is normally done,” said Macdaid. “I was impressed with the way he took a vested interest in this case.”

But the real break in the case came because Wing, who normally is in the department’s patrol rotation, was able to spend most of two weeks investigating the case, which broke with a tip from an undercover officer from the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency in southern Maine.

Rodden was arrested April 14 in Dover, N.H. He has since been linked to five bank robberies in Maine and New Hampshire. Last month, he was indicted by a federal grand jury for the Newport robbery and others.

“It was an awful situation,” said Macdaid. “Then again, it was really positive the way things came about.”

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