SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

July 7, 2014

Man gets at least 4 years in holdup

Bank robber's mother turned him in

DANVERS — A Salem Superior Court judge tried to reassure a mother on Monday that she did the right thing by calling police when she recognized her son in a surveillance photo following a bank robbery in Danvers last fall.

“I’m sure you feel bad that you turned him in,” Judge Howard Whitehead told Steven Cerqueira’s teary-eyed mother, seated in a courtroom gallery. “But it was the right thing to do.”

The judge said the woman may have saved the life of her son, a heroin addict.

“He could have been shot by police, or he could have shot or stabbed someone,” said the judge, who had just sentenced Cerqueira, 30, of Lowell, to four to 41/2 years in state prison.

During the Nov. 27 holdup at a Citizens Bank branch inside Stop & Shop on Route 1 in Danvers, Cerqueira told a teller, “Don’t make any noise. I have a gun pointing at you. Give me all the money.”

The teller gave him $1,630, prosecutor Meg Morrissey told the judge.

But as he fled, a dye pack exploded, and he dropped much of the money, police said at the time.

His mother told police she was worried that her son was in danger because of his addiction when she spoke to police on Dec. 6, Morrissey told the judge.

Cerqueira pleaded guilty to charges of armed robbery and felony larceny during Monday’s hearing.

Prosecutor Christina Ronan wanted the judge to impose a six-to-eight-year prison term, largely due to Cerqueira’s record, which includes prior robbery convictions, including one for an unarmed 2004 holdup at the Eastern Bank on Margin Street that netted more than $8,000.

Cerqueira used the proceeds of that 2004 holdup to purchase a new car, telling friends he’d won the Lottery. They believed him until his image, from a surveillance video, appeared in The Salem News.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Comments Tracker