BANGOR, Maine — A Bangor man was arrested Monday as part of an investigation into Saturday’s robbery of the Bangor Savings Bank branch on Broadway.
Donald Lloyd Turner, 39, was taken to Penobscot County Jail on a federal probation violation charge, Detective Sgt. Paul Kenison said in a news release issued late Monday afternoon.
Turner, who was on supervised release for two previous bank robberies at the time of his arrest, has not been charged in connection with Saturday’s bank robbery, which now is under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Kenison said Turner also was charged with aggravated assault, a Class B felony, in connection with an incident on Market Street early Monday morning.
According to documents filed Sunday in U.S. District Court in Bangor, Turner was sentenced to five years in prison after he was convicted of robbing two southern Maine banks two days apart in March 2006.
Turner admitted to both robberies during interviews with detectives, federal prosecutors said in documents filed in U.S. District Court in Portland in May 2006. Turner also said he was addicted to crack cocaine and that he robbed the two banks after he was threatened by a drug dealer to whom he was indebted.
Turner told investigators that the dealer and others threatened to beat him up, throw him off the Casco Bay Bridge and take his car if he didn’t pay up, court documents revealed.
The first robbery occurred at 10:20 a.m. Saturday, March 18, when Turner entered the Gorham Savings Bank branch located at 17 Marginal Way in Portland and handed a teller a day planner with a note demanding cash written on one of its pages.
Turner claimed in his note that he was armed and would “blow the bank up” if he saw police there within five minutes of leaving. He demanded $8,000 but got away with $1,859 in cash, according to federal prosecutors.
Turner later told a detective that he was high on crack when he committed the Gorham robbery.
The second robbery occurred about noon Monday, March 20, at the TD Bank branch located at 9 Market St. in South Portland. In that incident, Turner handed a teller a checkbook, purportedly so he could check his account balance. Inside the checkbook was a noted referring to a “bomb in a box.”
When the teller asked what Turner wanted, Turner said, “Give me the money.” In that incident, Turner reportedly got away with $4,000, federal prosecutors said.
Turner was arrested in Westbrook on March 22, 2006, after police pursued tips they received from releasing surveillance images of the TD Bank robbery to the media. Among the tipsters were two of Turner’s family members and two people Turner was working with at the time.
After serving his prison sentence, Turner was released from prison on Sept. 2 of last year and was placed on three years of supervised release.
What appears to be a break in the investigation into Saturday’s bank robbery in Bangor came Saturday, shortly after city police released surveillance images of that robbery to area media outlets, according to a petition to the federal court seeking the revocation of Turner’s supervised release.
Two people who saw the images recognized Turner and the clothing he was wearing, a two-tone gray-and-black spring jacket and black baseball cap, the petition said. A third person recognized his alleged getaway vehicle, described as a burgundy Jeep Liberty, possibly a 2002 through 2004 model.
The petition included a description of Saturday’s heist. It said a man fitting Turner’s description entered the bank and gave a teller a checkbook, saying he was having trouble balancing his account. Inside was a note indicating the bank was being robbed and asked that cash in specific denominations be given to him with no dye packs.
The note also said that a manila envelope he had placed on the counter contained a bomb and ordered the teller not to set off any alarms. The court document said the teller gathered what cash she had and placed it in the checkbook.
The suspect then left in a burgundy Jeep that had been backed into a parking space and left running while he was inside. The robber reportedly made off with $3,263, an audit conducted by the bank indicated.
According to a rap sheet the Bangor Daily News obtained from the State Bureau of Investigation, Turner’s criminal history dates back to 1991, when he served 30 days in jail and was given one year of probation for theft and assault.
In 2001, he was sentenced to 60 days in jail, all of which was suspended, and given one year of probation for unlawful possession of scheduled drugs.
In 2004, Turner was convicted of felony burglary and theft and charged with a probation violation. He was order to pay restitution and given a two-year jail sentence, all but 30 days of which was suspended.
Turner’s initial court appearance on Sunday’s motion to revoke his supervised release has yet to be scheduled, but likely will take place in Portland this week. Since the FBI has taken over the investigation, Turner would be charged in connection with the Bangor bank robbery in federal court.
Bangor Daily News writer Judy Harrison contributed to this report.