Orono bank robbery suspect charged in RI

Robert Ferguson. (Photo courtesy of Penobscot County Jail)
Robert Ferguson. (Photo courtesy of Penobscot County Jail)
Posted July 15, 2010, at 5:30 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Police in Rhode Island on Thursday charged the Greyhound bus driver who allegedly robbed an Orono bank earlier this week with a May 27 bank robbery in that state.

A detective with the Warwick, R.I., police said a warrant has been issued for Robert Ferguson, 47, of Lowell, Mass., in connection with the May 27 robbery of the Pawtucket Credit Union in Warwick. Detective Capt. Robert S. Nelson told the Providence Journal on Thursday that information about Ferguson’s arrest in Maine led to the charges in his state.

Ferguson, who is being held without bail at the Piscataquis County Jail, was arrested early Wednesday morning about 18 hours after he allegedly robbed the Bangor Saving Bank on Park Street in Orono. A desk clerk at the Days Inn on the Odlin Road in Bangor told police a man staying there looked like the man in surveillance photos released to the media.

The bus driver also is a being investigated by the FBI as the “burly bandit” responsible for at least 10 bank robberies in five states, including Maine. The FBI called him the burly bandit because of his stocky build and offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to his arrest and capture the day before the bank robbery in Orono.

The burly bandit concealed his face in a variety of ways, using sunglasses, a wig, a fake beard and several hats, including a straw cowboy hat, the FBI said in announcing the reward. He threatened to kill tellers at the bank, including the one in Orono. The burly bandit always left on foot, according to the FBI.

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The man known as the “Burly Bandit” is suspected of robbing the following banks:

April 12 — Bank of America, Darien, Conn.

April 27 — Lowell Five Cent Savings Bank, Tewksbury, Mass.

May 5 — Digital Credit Union, Tyngsboro, Mass.

May 17 — Rollstone Bank & Trust, Fitchburg, Mass.

May 27 — Pawtucket Federal Credit Union, Warwick, R.I.

May 27 — Rockland Federal Credit Union, North Attleboro, Mass.

June 1 — Hampshire First Bank, Londonderry, N.H.

June 1 — Pentucket Bank, Hampstead, N.H.

June 24 — Webster Bank, Somers, Conn.

July 2 — Ocean Bank, Merrimack, N.H.

July 13 — Bangor Savings Bank, Orono, Maine.

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

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