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Convicted robber arrested in Somerville case

A convicted bank robber on federal probation was arrested early Tuesday and identified as the person who allegedly robbed the Union Square branch of Citizens Bank in Somerville Saturday and as the bandit who allegedly smashed his way inside a Westwood gas station to steal cigarettes and lottery tickets Oct. 4, according to court records and officials.

Michael F. Tucker, 45, was arrested by US marshals and ­local police at a Red Roof Inn in Salem, N.H., said Somerville police and the FBI. He was identified as the suspect in the bank robbery by Westwood ­police detectives who were inves­tigating the smash-and-grab at the Shell gas station on Route 1.

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“He’s been found to be a busy guy,’’ said Westwood police Detective Paul Toland.

Toland said that Westwood police were able to connect Tucker to the gas station break-in — it was closed at the time — through surveillance videos and other investigative work. He said his department had ­obtained a criminal complaint against Tucker and then alerted other law enforcement agencies they were looking for him.

But before he was taken into custody in the Westwood crime, Tucker walked into the Somerville bank Saturday and handed a bank teller a note demanding money while also saying he had a gun, Somerville police said.

The teller handed over an undisclosed amount of cash, and the thief fled on foot, ­although he may have been picked up on Warren Avenue by someone in a vehicle, police said. The thief was reported to have a “strong Boston accent.’’

The Somerville bank robbery was similar to the two bank robberies Tucker admitted to committing during a hearing in US District Court in Boston March 31, 2002. At the time, Tucker was sentenced to 12½ years behind bars, followed by three years of probation. He was released from federal prison in March 2012 and has been required to attend substance abuse counseling, includ­ing at least one period of inpatient treatment this year.

He apparently violated probation quickly as federal officials had intended to send him back to prison in July, a request that was put on hold while Tucker attended an inpatient treatment center, records show.

He was scheduled for a new court hearing last week, ­between the Westwood and Somerville crimes, but it was never held.

John R. Ellement can be reached at
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