Local Crime, News, Police/Fire

Police identify Peabody bank robber suspect involved in taxi cab chase

PEABODY — Leo Willwerth, of East Boston, has been identified as the suspect in the bank robbery in Peabody on Monday. A judge ordered him held without bail during an arraignment on Tuesday.

The Peabody Police and the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force responded to a robbery at the Bank of America on Andover Street Monday afternoon at 2:10, after a male suspect passed a note to the teller demanding cash, according to Dave Procopio of the Massachusetts State Police. The suspect reportedly fled with the cash and jumped into a cab owned by a Peabody taxi company.

After a description of the suspect was broadcast to area police departments, State Police troopers were able to locate and stop the cab at 3:18 p.m. on the Massachusetts Avenue Connector at Melnea Cass Boulevard in Roxbury, according to Procopio.

Willwerth, 31, was taken into custody without incident. Troopers later learned he had an outstanding warrant for a probation violation stemming from a prior bank robbery from 2013. Willwerth was taken to the State Police Barracks in South Boston, where further investigation was conducted by an officer from the Violent Crimes Task Force, Peabody detectives, and a Boston Police detective.

Willwerth will be charged with the Peabody robbery from Monday and the June 5 robbery of a Santander Bank in Boston and the June 7 robbery of an East Boston Savings Bank in South Boston, according to Procopio.

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