SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

May 15, 2013

Man indicted in Salem bank robbery

BY JULIE MANGANIS
STAFF WRITER

---- — SALEM — A grand jury has indicted the Everett man who allegedly robbed a Salem bank of more than $11,000 by claiming he had a bomb strapped to him — on the same day law enforcement officers from all over eastern Massachusetts were frantically searching for the second Boston Marathon bombing suspect.

Albin Antonio Tejeda, 23, could face up to life in prison if convicted of armed robbery, the charge handed up Monday afternoon by an Essex County grand jury.

Police say that on the afternoon of April 19, while the entire city of Boston and nearby Watertown were under a lockdown so police could search for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Tejeda called a Revere cab company asking to be taken to Salem.

The cab stopped at Pickering Wharf, and Tejeda, telling the driver he needed to get money for his fare, ran into the Eastern Bank branch there.

The cabbie later told police had no idea when Tejeda returned to the taxi how he had obtained the $50 he handed to him.

Police said during Tejeda’s original arraignment last month that the Everett man had gone into the bank and handed the teller a note demanding money and saying, “I am strapped with a bomb.”

Police described the bank employees as being terrified that they were dealing with an accomplice of the Tsarnaev brothers, who at that point were believed to have held up a convenience store the night before.

“I cannot even comprehend the fear that must have been in those tellers’ minds,” Salem police Lt. Conrad Prosniewski told a judge during Tejeda’s original court appearance last month, where a judge ordered him held on $100,000 cash bail.

Police identified Tejeda later that afternoon after finding surveillance footage from a nearby marina, noting the name of the Revere cab company, contacting the owner and confirming where the man had been picked up in Everett.

Police then spotted a man fitting the robber’s description and questioned him. They later found evidence in the man’s apartment, including cash and paper bank bands that are used to hold large amounts of bills.

Police said the majority of the money was recovered.

Tejeda has pleaded not guilty. The indictment moves the case to Salem Superior Court, where he will now be re-arraigned within the next several weeks.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.