Thief Nabbed In Harvard Sq.

Police Chase Bank Robber Into T

Ten Cambridge police officers swarmed Harvard Square shortly after 11 a.m. yesterday morning in a dramatic arrest of a man who was spotted approaching the same Harvard Square bank he is accused of robbing two weeks ago.

Undercover officers, detectives in suits and uniformed patrol officers chased the suspect into the Harvard Square T station as bystanders looked on in amazement. The handcuffed suspect, whose identity police had not determined late yesterday, was led off into a squad car shielding his face from photographers with his hat.

Police said the suspect was carrying a replica gun in his coat pocket but could only speculate as to whether he was intending to rob the same bank--the Mt. Auburn Street branch of Wainwright Bank and Trust Co.--for a second time.

The suspect was approaching Wainwright Bank at about 11 a.m. when a teller recognized him from the robbery two weeks ago, said Cambridge police Det. Frank Pasquarello.

The suspect will be charged with one count of armed robbery for allegedly entering the bank two weeks ago, saying to a teller that he had a gun and making off with an undisclosed amount of cash, police said.


"The same individual was walking into the bank area [yesterday] when the teller who observed him last time saw him again coming toward the bank. He turned and went the other direction, and she called thepolice," Pasquarello said.

The teller's call resulted in a short chasethrough Harvard Square which ended inside the mainentrance to the T station.

As the suspect crossed Massachusetts Avenuenear the Nini's Corner newspaper stand and enteredthe underground T station, an unmarked grey Dodgewith bald tires, driven by a plainclothesCambridge police officer, screeched to a stopbeside the Out of Town News kiosk.

Observers stared in amazement as the officerthrew open his car door and ran down the stairsleading into the subway stop.

Before the officer made it half way down thefirst flight of stairs, three Cambridge policepatrol cars converged on the Square from alldirections.

Another unmarked car also raced in to provideback-up.

The officers arrested the suspect on theplatform between the two sets of escalatorsleading to the station. He was handcuffed andtaken back up the escalator, surrounded on allsides by police.

Inside the suspect's jacket pocket, policefound a replica of a firearm, Pasquarello said.

"I saw a young, Black man going down the stairsand then this car screeched up and a policeofficer's talking into his walkie-talkie andcoming down after him," said an astonishedSalvation Army bell ringer who was standing by theentrance to the T station and witnessed thearrest.

"The cop's saying into his radio: `Is there awarrant on him? `Is there a warrant on him?' Thenin a matter of minutes 10 officers are here.Detective cars pull up, cruisers.

They responded very quickly. I can tell youthat much," said the Salvation Army worker, whorequested anonymity.

Pearl Moi, the manager of the Wainwright Bankand Trust Company branch in Harvard Square, saidit is bank policy not to comment on such incidentsand referred requests for information to police.

If convicted on the armed robbery charge, thesuspect faces 20 years to life in prison,Pasquarello said. A John Doe warrant had beenissued two weeks ago for the unidentified bankrobber, he said.

Pasquarello said the Cambridge officers justhappened to be in the area at the time of thearrest and that the fast and thorough policeresponse was not due to any special patrollingprocedures