Man, 36, arrested at gunpoint after Swansea bank robbery and crash in Rehoboth
This screen grab image shows the location of the Santander Bank in Swansea that was robbed at about 4 p.m. on Monday. [Screen Grab Image courtesy Google Maps]
SWANSEA — A 36-year-old Lowell man is charged with armed robbery of a bank while masked and other felonies after robbing a bank on Route 6 of significant funds Monday just before 5 p.m., police and a town official said.
He later crashed his vehicle into two pursuing Rehoboth police cruisers, and needed to be hospitalized.
Jason Nobles “showed a black firearm and demanded money” at Santander Bank, 620 G.A.R. Highway, according to a press release from Swansea and Rehoboth police.
Wearing a baseball hat, blue sweatshirt and gloves, he fled from the bank in a silver Toyota RAV-4, driving westbound on Route 6, police said.
They said the amount of funds stolen were yet to be determined, although Swansea Selectmen Chairman Christopher Carreiro, who said he was briefed by authorities, said it was a “significant amount.”
Both the FBI and state police were involved in investigating the bank robbery and suspect, officials said.
After the suspect crashed the SUV on Kelton Street in Rehoboth, police removed him from the vehicle at gunpoint, they said.
Rehoboth police Officers Mark Wetherell, Thomas Ranley and Sgt. Richard Shailor placed him into custody.
“The money from the robbery was still stuffed in the front of the suspect’s sweatshirt,” the press release said.
The Rehoboth police department responded to reports the vehicle had driven across the Middlebrook Golf Course when Wetherell spotted it going northbound onto Chestnut Street.
On Moulton Street (Route 118), where Ranley joined the pursuit, the SUV drove over a lawn to avoid the police cruisers before turning and crashing on Kelton Street.
The Rehoboth officers involved in the crash were transported to a local hospital for precautionary reasons. Rehoboth Police Chief James Trombetta and Officer Louis DeBacco assisted with the investigation at the scene, police said.
Back in Swansea, Detectives Keith Chomka and Joey Faria and Patrolman Rob Wilson had responded to the bank to process the scene, review video footage and interview witnesses.
At the crash scene, Swansea Sgt. Mark Foley and Officers Patrick Mooney and Jonathan Boyd responded and “determined the suspect was in fact the same individual involved in the bank robbery,” police said.
Swansea police also charged Nobles with two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon with intent to rob and use of a vehicle in the commission of a felony.
Rehoboth police are also charging him with failure to stop for a police officer, operating to endanger, operating a motor vehicle after his license was revoked, two counts of destruction of property and multiple motor vehicle offenses.
He was transported by rescue to Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, with what police called “non-life-threatening injuries.” As of 10 p.m., a spokesperson at Rhode Island Hospital said they were not treating a patient named Jason Nobles
Carreiro said he understood the injuries were serious but had no specific details.
“I’m proud of the Swansea Police Department and the collaborative effort they made with Rehoboth police and the FBI and state police to apprehend the suspect and recover nearly all the money,” Carreiro said shortly after being briefed at Swansea police headquarters.
The report by Swansea Lt. Marc Haslam and Rehoboth’s Sgt. Shailor said FBI Special Agent Geoff Kelly and Massachusetts State Trooper Mark Wheeler of the Bank Robbery Task Force assisted Swansea police at the bank robbery scene.
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