Federal Prosecutors Say 25-Year-Old Methuen Man Robbed Four Area Banks at Gunpoint

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A 25-year-old Methuen man was arrested and charged Wednesday in connection with robbing four banks in Middlesex County in August and September.

According to U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling’s office in Boston, Caio Costa was charged with armed bank robbery and brandishing a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence. He was initially arrested on state charges on Sept. 26, following the robbery of a Salem Five Bank branch in Tewksbury. Costa was ordered held following an initial appearance in federal court in Boston yesterday.

According to court documents, between Aug. 28 and Sept. 25, four federally insured banks were robbed in Middlesex County. In each of these robberies, the robber entered the bank wearing dark clothing and a motorcycle helmet and brandished a black revolver. Following each robbery, the robber escaped on a dark-colored motorcycle.

Prosecutors say on Sept. 25, a person later determined to be Costa entered the Salem Five branch, approached a teller while brandishing what appeared to be a black revolver and demanded the bank’s money. The teller handed over cash and Costa left the bank and sped away on a dark-colored motorcycle. Police observed Costa on the motorcycle in traffic and attempted to stop him, but he was traveling at speeds estimated to be from 80-100 miles per hour while weaving in and out of traffic. Costa eventually crashed the motorcycle and escaped on foot, leaving his black helmet behind.

The following day, Costa was located in a New Hampshire hotel and arrested without incident. The U.S. attorney’s office said Costa admitted to the armed robbery of the Salem Five Bank in Tewksbury, Aug. 28, armed robbery of Eastern Bank in Chelmsford, Sept. 18, armed robbery of the People’s United Bank in Lowell and Sept. 18, armed robbery of the Reading Co-Op in Wilmington.

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