SALEM — He’s white. He wears glasses. He never shows a weapon, just walks up to a teller and hands over a note demanding cash. Then he disappears.
Police say the city has a serial bank robber on its hands: a man in his 20s or 30s who started his spree with a holdup at the Beverly Bank at 73 Lafayette St. on April 25, robbed the bank again on May 15 and, most recently, struck at Eastern Bank at 19 Congress St. on Friday.
“We do believe this is the same guy,” said police Capt. Mark Griffin, head of the department’s Criminal Investigation Unit. “There’s a lot of similarities that we’re looking at.”
Some of those similarities involve the physical description of the suspect and have been borne out by surveillance footage. Others involve the crimes themselves: Griffin said there were likenesses in the handwritten notes passed during the robberies and each occurred mid-afternoon, once on a Thursday and twice on a Friday.
Also, the two banks that were robbed are a short distance from each other, and in each of the robberies, no injuries were reported, the suspect fled on foot, and police were unable to locate him, despite an extensive search of the area.
One thing that hasn’t stayed constant throughout the robberies is the suspect’s clothing. During the April robbery that kicked off the spree, he reportedly donned makeup, a blond wig and a white knit cap with a flower on it. The next time he struck, he was wearing a gray Patriots sweatshirt and a cap. During the most recent robbery, the suspect wore a green hooded sweatshirt, a gray Red Sox hat and, for the first time, a scruffy brown beard.
It’s unclear how much money the suspect has stolen so far, and police declined to comment on it, but radio reports after the most recent robbery indicated it netted him about $3,000 cash.