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One person arrested in connection with Martha’s Vineyard bank robbery

Cape & Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe released a photo Thursday showing what he said was one of three suspects who robbed a Martha's Vineyard Rockland Trust bank branch. All three suspects wore the same kind of Halloween-like mask, according to O'Keefe.Cape & Islands DA Office

One person has been arrested in connection with Thursday’s robbery of a Rockland Trust bank branch on Martha’s Vineyard, according to the Cape and Islands district attorney’s office.

The investigation is “ongoing and active,” said Tara L. Miltimore, an assistant district attorney, in an e-mail to the Globe Saturday afternoon.

Law enforcement officials declined Saturday night to release more information about the person who was arrested, or explain the person’s connection to the robbery. They provided no further updates on the investigation.

Investigators have said three armed suspects raided a Rockland Trust bank branch on Martha’s Vineyard on Thursday morning, tied up its employees, and fled with thousands in cash.


The FBI, Massachusetts State Police, the Cape and Islands district attorney’s office, and Tisbury police are investigating the robbery, which triggered a massive law enforcement response. Several schools were locked down, heavily armed officers searched the island and a Falmouth hotel for the suspects, and investigators have asked the public for help solving the case.

David Procopio, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts State Police, said Saturday that the investigation was active but gave no details.

Members of the State Police’s Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section were part of the investigation, Procopio has said.

No one answered the phone Saturday morning at the Vineyard Haven branch where the robbery occurred. A voice message said the office was presently closed. A request for comment was not immediately returned.

Rockland Trust has said the branch is “temporarily closed” and that none of the staff were hurt.

The robbery suspects, who wore Halloween-like masks and dark, bulky clothing, took off in a stolen car owned by a bank worker that was found abandoned later in the day Thursday a few miles away near a state forest in Edgartown, officials have said.

Geoffrey Freeman, the director of the Martha’s Vineyard Airport, has said it was unlikely the suspects escaped by plane. Passengers for Cape Air, the sole commercial carrier, are screened by TSA officials. Private plane passengers must undergo detailed background checks, he said.


Police on Thursday checked Steamship Authority ferries, and armed officers swarmed a Falmouth Holiday Inn after they received information that the suspects were inside. But officials left the scene without apprehending any of the suspects, and Falmouth Police Chief Ed Dunne said no other locations in the town were being searched as part of the case.

On Friday night, police stopped a car on Beach Road in Tisbury, and State Police hauled the vehicle away on the back of a flatbed truck. Tisbury police Sergeant Andrew Silvia has said the car was stopped while investigators were following a lead in the case, and police will interview an individual.

Island residents have been shaken by the brazen daytime robbery of a bank and flummoxed that the suspects would choose a target located on an island.

“To have decided that Martha’s Vineyard was a great place to rob a bank is kind of, well, ditzy,” said resident Doug Cabral on Friday. “Why would anyone do that?”

John R. Ellement, Mike Damiano, and Brittany Bowker of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.