Updated 8 PM: Photo of armed bank robbery suspect on Martha’s Vineyard released

Cape Cod Incidents/CWN

TISBURY – There was an armed robbery of a bank on Martha’s Vineyard Thursday morning. Tisbury Police posted that the robbery had occurred at the Rockland Trust on Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road. According to reports, 3 males entered the bank with firearms and tied up the bank employees. They then made off with an undetermined amount of cash in one of the teller’s vehicles. The vehicle was found abandoned a short time later. Island and State Police as well as the FBI are all on scene or responding to investigate the incident and search for the suspects. As a precaution, island schools were placed on lockdown. No injuries were reported.

David Curran/Satellite News Service/CWN (used with permission)

1:00 PM update: CWN is aware of a large police presence on Jones Road in Falmouth. A section of the road is closed and traffic is being rerouted. It is not confirmed if this is related to the bank robbery incident. A nearby school in Falmouth was on lockdown. As of 3 PM the road was reopening.

David Curran/Satellite News Service/CWN (used with permission)

5:00 PM update: The police units at the Holiday Inn on Jones Road in Falmouth have departed the scene. Tisbury Police posted that as of this hour no suspects are in custody.

8:00 PM update: from Cape & Islands District Attorney’s office: District Attorney Michael O’Keefe and Tisbury Police Chief Chris Habekost announced Thursday this morning at approximately 8:15 AM, police responded to an incident at the Rockland Trust bank in the Vineyard Haven community of Tisbury, Martha’s Vineyard.

Three unknown individuals rushed into the bank as employees entered to open the bank for business. These subjects were masked, gloved and armed with handguns.

The District Attorney and Chief Habekost want to stress that Island residents should remain vigilant, however, they should not be overly alarmed. This was a targeted crime and there is no additional information that should cause undue fear.

Federal, State and local police are continuing this investigation and are asking the public for any information regarding the mask depicted in this photo.

All three subjects had this mask on. This is a photo from the scene of this robbery. Anyone with information is asked to please contact Tisbury PD @ 508-696-4240 or Trooper Dustin Shaw @ 508-693-0545.

CWN will bring you further details as we get them.

The brazen nature of Thursday’s bank robbery on Martha’s Vineyard of all places, seems to have eerie similarities to an incident in Provincetown in 2001.
From CWN archives January 16th, 2001:
Provincetown fire set as diversion for armed bank robbery
PROVINCETOWN – It was like a scene out of a Hollywood movie today in Provincetown. It started about 11:30 when a structure fire was reported on Sandy Hill Lane off Route 6. The vacant (Gulls Nest motel) was gutted by the fire, which is considered suspicious. About 20 minutes later an armed robbery was reported at the Seamen’s Saving Bank at the A&P complex on Shankpainter Road. This is believed to be Provincetown’s first ever bank robbery. Two black males wearing ski masks, one reportedly brandishing a handgun held up the bank. It was not immediately clear how much if any money was taken in the daring broad-daylight robbery. Provincetown Police assisted by Wellfleet and State Police K9’s combed the neighborhood looking for the subjects who made their getaway on bicycle. The masks and other material were recovered a short distance away. One of the largest police manhunts in Provincetown history ensued culminating in a raid at a house at 942 Commercial St. near the Truro line about 8:15. Provincetown Police, MSP Stop Team members and FBI agents converged on the scene and took 2 subjects into custody for questioning. By 10 PM agents had recovered over $7500 cash that had been buried in an area adjacent to the home. About an hour later the gun a .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol was recovered on the grounds of the Pilgrim Monument. Police believe the fire was set as a diversion for the robbery. Two black males (Mark L. White, 20, and Robert A. Allen, 26), were arrested and charged with armed robbery while masked, arson and weapon charges. The two suspects were arraigned in Barnstable Superior Court this morning and are being held in the house of correction on $25,000 bail.

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