Police arrest suspect in bank heist

By Eric Russell, BDN Staff
Posted July 06, 2010, at 10:34 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A local woman who police believe robbed a downtown bank on Tuesday morning and then fled in a waiting taxi was arrested about two hours later at an apartment building in Bangor.

Matisha Marie Pitts, 25, of Bangor has been charged with bank robbery and will be detained until her initial court appearance, which is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at U.S. District Court in Bangor.

Police went to a 911 call from Bangor Savings Bank on State Street shortly after 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. Pitts — who was described initially as a tall, heavyset African-American female wearing a long multicolored sundress — reportedly entered the bank and demanded money.

According to a court affidavit written by FBI special agent James Herbert, Pitts approached the counter and handed the teller a note.

“I have a gun in my purse. … give me all your 20s and tens or I’ll start shooting … if any 1 (sic) tried and stop me B4 I leave I’ll shot (sic) … No Joke,” the note read.

The teller then handed over $1,390 in cash, Herbert wrote. Witnesses told police that the woman fled from the scene in a taxicab. Police called area taxi companies to see who recently picked up a passenger at that location. Police traced the cab to an apartment building on Kenduskeag Avenue.

When the first Bangor police officer arrived shortly after 10 a.m., the taxi was still parked outside the apartment building. Two females were inside and they told the officer that another woman, later identified as Pitts, already had left the cab and walked toward the back of the building, according to the affidavit.

Another Bangor officer knocked on one of the apartment doors and asked the man who answered if he was alone. The man replied that there was a woman inside whom he did not know, Herbert wrote.

Officers found Pitts inside and matched her description with surveillance photos that had been provided by the bank. They searched the apartment and found a purse that contained a photo identification for Pitts and $780 in cash. Police did not find a gun, according to the affidavit, and the document did not address what happened to the rest of the money.

Pitts was seen being escorted in handcuffs from the apartment building on Kenduskeag Avenue shortly after noon. It wasn’t clear what connection the woman had to the building, but she did not live there, according to residents who had gathered outside.

Shortly after the robbery, the bank door was locked with a sign that read “Emergency — this office is temporarily closed.” Carol Colson, a senior vice president with Bangor Savings, said she could not provide any additional details. She did say that the bank remained closed on Tuesday but would reopen Wednesday morning.

Bank robbery is a federal offense punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Past reports published in the Bangor Daily News reveal that Pitts has a significant criminal history.

In 2004, she reportedly punched an Ellsworth police officer in the head outside a hospital.

In 2006, Pitts was convicted of theft by unauthorized taking or transfer and violating conditions of release.

In 2007, she was convicted of theft by unauthorized taking or transfer and sentenced to 10 days in jail.

In 2008, she again was convicted of theft by unauthorized taking or transfer and later that same year was found guilty of forgery.

Finally, earlier this year Pitts was arrested and charged with printing several counterfeit $100 bills and trying to use them at local retail establishments. That case is still pending.

http://bangordailynews.com/2010/07/06/news/bangor/police-arrest-suspect-in-bank-heist/ printed on December 18, 2014