, 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
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Comments Tracker