Troopers Arrest Suspect in Peabody Bank Robbery; Man to be Charged in Two Additional Robberies

At approximately 2:10 p.m. yesterday (Monday, June 11) members of the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force and Peabody Police responded to a robbery at the Bank of America on Andover Street in Peabody. In that incident, a male suspect passed a note demanding cash to a teller and fled with an amount of US currency. The suspect was observed getting into a cab owned by a Peabody taxi company. A description of the suspect was broadcast to area police departments and efforts were undertaken to locate the taxi.

At 3:18 p.m. Massachusetts State Police Detective Lt. Brian O’Riordan, Trooper Stephen Browning, and Trooper Daniel King located and stopped the cab on the Massachusetts Avenue Connector at Melnea Cass Boulevard in Roxbury. The Troopers took the suspect, identified as LEO WILLWERTH, 31, of East Boston, into custody without incident. WILLWERTH was the subject of an outstanding warrant for a probation violation stemming from a prior bank robbery from 2013.

State Troopers transported WILLWERTH to the State Police Barracks in South Boston, where further investigation was conducted by a State Police Detective Lieutenant assigned to the Violent Crimes Task Force, Peabody detectives, and a Boston Police detective.

Based on that further investigation, WILLWERTH will be charged with the Peabody robbery from yesterday as well as the June 5 robbery of a Santander Bank in Boston and the June 7 robbery of an East Boston Savings Bank in South Boston. He was expected to be arraigned today in Essex County for the Peabody robbery; Task Force members are obtaining arrest warrants for the Boston robberies and he will be arraigned at a later date in Suffolk County for those robberies.

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