FBI seeking public’s help in search for ‘Route 91 Bandit’ bank robber

  • The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the identification, arrest and conviction of the “Route 91 Bandit,” who has allegedly robbed at least 11 banks up and down the Interstate 91 corridor. Courtesy Photo/FBI Boston Division

  • The FBI Boston Division is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the identification, arrest and conviction of the “Route 91 Bandit,” who has allegedly robbed at least 11 banks up and down the Interstate 91 corridor, including Athol. Courtesy Photo/FBI Boston Division

  • The FBI Boston Division is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the identification, arrest and conviction of the “Route 91 Bandit,” who has allegedly robbed at least 11 banks up and down the Interstate 91 corridor. Courtesy Photo/FBI Boston Division

  • According to the FBI Boston Division, the suspect is said to drive a newer model Nissan sedan. Courtesy Photo/FBI Boston Division

  • Greenfield Cooperative Bank on Avenue A in Turners Falls was robbed in December. STAFF PHOTO/JULIAN MENDOZA

  • Franklin First Federal Credit Union on Newton Street in Greenfield was robbed last month. STAFF PHOTO/DOMENIC POLI

Staff Writer
Published: 2/11/2022 3:07:05 PM
Modified: 2/11/2022 3:05:24 PM

The FBI Boston Division is seeking the public’s help in identifying a man who has allegedly robbed at least 11 banks up and down the Interstate 91 corridor, including robberies in Greenfield and Turners Falls and Athol.

In seeking the culprit, dubbed the “Route 91 Bandit,” the FBI is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information that leads to his identification, arrest and conviction. Investigators describe the suspect as a white male between 5-foot-6 inches and 5-foot-8 inches tall, with a medium build. He has blue eyes, light-colored hair and has typically worn a hood or a hat and white sneakers while driving a newer model Nissan sedan. He has allegedly threatened the use of a firearm and has attempted to enter the banks’ vaults on at least six occasions.

“In the interest of public safety, we’re asking anyone with information about this individual to contact us immediately,” Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI Boston Division, said in an announcement. “We need to put a stop to this man’s crime spree before someone gets hurt. He’s considered armed and dangerous, so please take a close look at these images and reach out to us if you know who he is.”

The Route 91 Bandit has allegedly robbed nearly a dozen banks in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire since the start of September, according to the FBI Boston Division. The spree came to Franklin County and the North Quabbin region Nov. 5, when he allegedly robbed the Workers Credit Union on Tower Road in Athol. Then, on Dec. 16, he allegedly robbed the Greenfield Cooperative Bank on Avenue A in the Montague village of Turners Falls.

The latest local robbery occurred at the Franklin First Federal Credit Union on Newton Street in Greenfield on Jan. 27 at approximately 5:52 p.m.

In December, Montague Police Chief Christopher Williams said his department was having a “really hard time” making progress in the Greenfield Cooperative Bank investigation of the due to a lack of conclusive evidence, adding that security cameras around town have been out of service and relatively unhelpful in gathering footage.

After January’s robbery in Greenfield, Police Chief Robert Haigh Jr. said he was unsure if the Franklin First Federal Credit Union robbery was related to the Turners Falls robbery, but the FBI Boston Division believes they are connected.

Speaking Thursday afternoon, Haigh said the FBI typically gets involved with bank robberies “crossing borders” and the Greenfield Police Department is not releasing any additional information at this time because the investigation is still ongoing.

“In this case, they’re obviously seeking information,” Haigh said of the FBI. “We won’t release anything additional at this point.”

Anyone with information about the robberies is asked to contact the FBI at 1-857-386-2000. Tips also may be submitted online at tips.fbi.gov.

Haigh said the last Greenfield bank robbery he can recall is one that occurred at the now-closed Bank of America on Federal Street in 2016.

“It was an easy one to solve,” Haigh said. “He was still in the parking lot.”

Chris Larabee can be reached at clarabee@recorder.com or 413-930-4081.


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