Methuen Man Pleads Guilty to Armed Bank Robbery

John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse. (Beyond My Ken, CC.)

A Methuen man pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in Boston to armed bank robbery.

Twenty-six-year-old Caio Costa pleaded guilty to armed bank robbery and using and carrying a firearm during a crime of violence. U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin scheduled sentencing for Oct. 31. Costa was indicted by a federal grand jury in January 2021.

“Mr. Costa terrorized the employees and patrons of a local community bank, all in pursuit of greed. His dangerous actions put lives at serious risk, from brandishing a firearm during the robbery to his reckless efforts to evade police,” said U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins.

On Sept. 25, 2020, Costa, armed with a loaded revolver and donning a black motorcycle helmet, entered a branch of Salem Five Bank in Tewksbury. Inside the bank, Costa brandished a black revolver and stole over $7,000. Costa fled on a motorcycle leading to a high-speed chase with police, reaching speeds up to 100 miles-per-hour. Costa eventually crashed in Lawrence and escaped on foot. Police later located the motorcycle helmet and clothing consistent with that worn by Costa during the robbery. Costa was found with a large sum of cash and arrested at a Salem, N.H., motel the next day.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Joseph R. Bonavolonta said, “Caio Costa terrorized innocent bank tellers and bystanders just trying to go about their daily lives. In committing this armed robbery and in leading law enforcement on a high-speed chase afterwards, this serial bank robber has repeatedly demonstrated why he is a significant threat to public safety.”

During a police interview, Costa admitted to robbing the Salem Five Bank three days earlier and committing other armed bank robberies between August and September 2020. He also directed police to a dumpster where a loaded black revolver, black gloves, a black backpack and other clothing used during the robbery.

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