U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
July 28, 2010
SERIAL BANK ROBBER ADMITS TO 3 PROVIDENCE HOLDUPS
A Warwick, R.I. man pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court Wednesday to robbing three Providence banks in six days in December 2009. Tarik Metts, 26, faces up to 60 years in federal prison on three counts of bank robbery. Metts was charged after his mother identified him after viewing bank surveillance photographs.
Metts’ guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha, which was accepted by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith.
At Metts’ change of plea hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie S. Browne told the court, had the matter gone to trial, the government would have presented evidence that Metts, on three occasions from December 8 – 14, 2009, presented notes to bank tellers at three different banks announcing a robbery, telling them to remain calm and demanding cash. In each instance, Metts recovered his note from the tellers and then fled with cash.
On December 8, Metts robbed a Sovereign Bank branch on Elmgrove Avenue of $2,171; on December 10 he robbed the Turks Head branch of Bank Rhode Island of $2,217; and on December 14 the defendant robbed a Citizens Bank branch at 700 Hartford Avenue of $1,771.
A short time after Metts left the Hartford Avenue bank, Providence Police received information that led them to Metts, who they located in a vehicle in a Providence restaurant parking lot. Metts was detained by police on an active arrest warrant for failing to appear in court on a charge of driving with a suspended license. Police recovered $720 from his pants pocket along with a note that read, “Youre Being Robbed Remain calm act normal No Alarms, No Dye Packs, 100’s 50’s 20’s Both Drawers You Have 30 Seconds”(text is exactly as it appeared in the note).
When questioned about the bank robberies and shown bank surveillance photographs, Metts denied any involvement and denied he was the person in the photos. Metts’ mother was later shown photographs at which time she confirmed it was her son.
Metts has been detained since his arrest. He is scheduled to be sentenced on November 19, 2010.
The matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Providence Police Department.
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