Suspect in Multiple Bank Robberies Arrested

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Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Patricia M. Ferrick, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, on Monday announced that MATTHEW DRAGONE, 31, of Middletown, has been charged by federal criminal complaint with the robbery of the Liberty Bank in Durham earlier this month. 

According to Federal Bureau of Investigations, FBI release, DRAGONE who is also a suspect in five other recent Connecticut bank robberies and one attempted bank robbery was arrested on September 18, 2015, in Middletown.

 He appeared on Monday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah A. L. Merriam in New Haven and currently is being detained.

According to the criminal complaint, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Connecticut State Police and several local police departments have been investigating a series of bank robberies that occurred in August and September.

The complaint alleges that, on September 3, 2015, DRAGONE, wearing dark sunglasses, a blue-striped long sleeve dress shirt and a white baseball cap with a “Coors Lite” logo, entered the Liberty Bank located at 357 Main Street in Durham. 

Holding a cellphone to his ear, DRAGONE was said to have approached the teller counter and presented to a teller a bank-style bag with a note affixed to the front. 

The note demanded money and an order not to include a dye pack or GPS. The teller placed approximately $1,490 in cash in the bag and handed it to DRAGONE, who immediately exited the bank and drove away.

Investigators found a Coors Lite baseball cap and a blue-striped shirt on the side of the road approximately 50 yards from the bank. 

Laboratory analysis of the discarded shirt revealed DNA consistent with DRAGONE’s DNA on the shirt’s collar.

The complaint further alleges that DRAGONE is a suspect in the robbery of the Webster Bank at 145 Highland Avenue in Cheshire on August 12, the TD Bank at 1127 Farmington Avenue in Berlin on August 13, the Liberty Bank at 151 Main Street in Deep River on August 17, the TD Bank at 25 Wells Road in Wethersfield on August 31, the Webster Bank at 377 Cromwell Avenue in Rocky Hill on September 9 (attempt), and the TD Bank at 184 Clinton Road in Killingworth on September 11.

As alleged in the complaint, a search of DRAGONE’s residence on September 16 revealed clothing and sunglasses consistent with those worn during the Durham robbery, and a bank-style bag consistent with the one used during several of the bank robberies.

The investigation is ongoing.

The charge of bank robbery carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This investigation is being conducted by the FBI, the Connecticut State Police and the Middletown, Cheshire, Berlin, Wethersfield, and Rocky Hill Police Departments. The Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, Division of Scientific Services is assisting the investigation. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas P. Morabito.

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