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Press Release

Serial Bank Robber Admits to Four Bank Robbery Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE, RI – A Rhode Island man previously convicted of robbing seven banks dating back to 1997, today admitted to a federal judge in Providence that he robbed three banks and attempted to rob a fourth all within a three-day span in January 2021, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.

Vaughn Watrous, 47, pleaded guilty today to four counts of bank robbery. The defendant’s sentences will be determined at a future date by a federal district judge after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Watrous admitted to robbing three banks in Providence and Cranston on January 19, 20, and 21, 2021; and attempting to rob a fourth bank in North Providence on January 21, 2021.

According to court records, Watrous was previously convicted of multiple bank robberies in 1997, 2003, and 2013. In 1997 he was convicted in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, Utah, on a charge of bank robbery and sentenced to 51 months in federal prison; in 2003 in U.S. District Court in Providence on two counts of bank robbery and sentenced to 76 months of incarceration; and in October 2015 in U.S. District Court in Providence on four counts of bank robbery and sentenced in February 2016 to a term of incarceration of 92 months.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Julianne L. Klein.

The matter was investigated by the FBI, with the assistance of the Providence, Cranston, and North Providence Police Departments.



Jim Martin

(401) 709-5357

Updated April 24, 2024

Press Release Number: 24-41