East Providence Police probe two robberies, including another by 'Bearded Bandit'


(Updated, 8:30 p.m., Sept. 18) EAST PROVIDENCE — On his way to becoming infamous or notorious or both, the so-called "Bearded Bandit" struck again as East Providence Police Department detectives investigated not one, but two bank robberies Tuesday, Sept. 18.

According to Lieutenant Raymond Blinn, the EPPD Officer on Duty Tuesday evening, the "Bearded Bandit" struck at approximately 3:50 p.m. He entered the Pawtucket Credit Union on Newport Avenue, stated he had a weapon, but did not show one. The teller put money in a plastic bag provided by the "Bandit" and he then fled north out of the parking lot on foot.

Earlier in the day and in a presumably unrelated attempt, East Providence Police Department Chief Joseph Tavares said detectives were investigating a robbery in the Riverside section of the city, which turned out to have taken place at Columbus Credit Union located at 3 Crescent View Ave.

Lt. Blinn provided a timeline of the Columbus Credit Union robbery. At 12:03 p.m. police received a call of a bank robbery at the Columbus Credit Union in Riverside.  A suspect entered the bank wearing a mask, demanded money and stated that she had an explosive device. The suspect fled on foot toward Metropolitan Park Drive with an undetermined amount of money. Detectives are following up on several leads.

Eastbayri.com has confirmed reports that a women entered Columbus Credit Union. She later fled in a red Ford F150 model pickup truck and headed towards Barrington.

Ironically, at the time of the Columbus Credit Union incident, Chief Tavares, understandably considering the circumstances, said the Riverside situation did not lead detectives to believe it was the work of the "Bearded Bandit" who has struck several banks in the area, including the TD Bank building also on Newport Avenue as well as one in Barrington last week.


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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.