, Salem, MA

August 14, 2013

Robbery suspect turns self in

Peabody man pleads not guilty in theft at ATM

By Bethany Bray

---- — PEABODY — A man accused of robbing a woman at a Bank of America ATM Monday turned himself in to police yesterday afternoon.

Gerald Russo, 33, of 116 Foster St., Apt. 3, Peabody, was arrested and charged with unarmed robbery, breaking and entering a motor vehicle in the daytime for a felony, and uttering a false note (a bad check).

The incident took place just after 11 a.m. at the Bank of America branch at 189 Andover St. (Route 114), across from the Northshore Mall.

Russo was first inside the bank, where he tried to cash a check that had already been processed, said Steve O’Connell, spokesperson for Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett.

After he was unsuccessful with the bad check, Russo headed outside, where police say he jumped into a woman’s car as she pulled up to an outside, drive-through ATM and demanded she take out extra money.

Once she complied — the woman told police she was robbed of $200 — Russo fled on foot. No weapon was shown, and no one was injured in the incident, police said.

Peabody police said yesterday that the alleged victim is 35, not 67 as they originally reported.

Russo surrendered at the Peabody police station “without incident” just after noon yesterday, police said.

He was arraigned in Peabody District Court yesterday afternoon, where he pleaded not guilty. Judge Matthew Nestor ordered Russo held without bail until an Aug. 20 dangerousness hearing.

Police were able to identify a suspect and issue an arrest warrant after analyzing data and evidence collected at the scene, said Detective Michael Crane.

Crane would not specify what type of evidence was collected or whether it included surveillance footage.

Police flooded the area of Route 114 and the Northshore Mall after the incident, and mall security joined in an extensive search for a suspect.

Bethany Bray can be reached at and on Twitter @SalemNewsBB.