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Third man arrested for Martha’s Vineyard armed robbery


Crime

Three people wielding guns and wearing plastic face masks robbed thousands of people at the Rockland Trust bank in Tisbury last month.

A Rockland Trust bank on Martha’s Vineyard was robbed by three armed and masked people last month. Ray Ewing / Vineyard Gazette

A third person has been arrested in connection with the armed bank robbery that occurred in Martha’s Vineyard last month.

Ramone Andre Clayton, 21, of Jamaica, was arrested Dec. 9 in Connecticut, the office of U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins said. He is charged with one count of being an afterthought accessory to an armed bank robbery.

Two other men, Miquel A. Jones and Omar Odion Johnson, have already been arrested and remain in custody.

Third man arrested for Martha's Vineyard armed robbery
One of three suspects who robbed the Rockland Trust bank in Tisbury on Martha’s Vineyard. – Cape Town and Islands District Attorney’s Office

Clayton’s arrest marks the latest step in an extensive investigation into the Nov. 17 theft. That morning, three people allegedly wielding semi-automatic handguns and wearing identical white masks resembling an elderly man with exaggerated facial features entered the back door of the Rockland Trust bank in Tisbury. Security footage also showed one of the perpetrators using a walkie-talkie, officials said.

One of the masked people allegedly pointed a gun at a bank employee’s head, forcing him to open a safe. The three individuals then reportedly entered the safe and took approximately $39,100 before tying the employees down with duct tape and plastic ties. They demanded that an employee give them the keys to a vehicle and left the area in an employee’s car, prosecutors said.

This stolen car was found in a parking lot about 2 miles from the bank shortly thereafter. Police determined that the attackers drove to that lot, abandoned the stolen car, and drove off in another vehicle.

Surveillance footage released to police by the Steamship Authority showed Clayton reportedly arriving at the Vineyard Haven ferry terminal around 9am, 40 minutes after the robbery. Clayton parked near the terminal, bought ferry tickets and boarded a ferry at 9:21 a.m., prosecutors said.

At 9:53 a.m., Johnson was reportedly captured by surveillance cameras arriving at the same parking lot and getting into the driver’s seat of the silver sedan left there by Clayton. Prosecutors allege Johnson drove the sedan to a vehicle reservation booth, purchased a vehicle ferry ticket, and boarded a ferry in the sedan at 12:24 p.m.

Jones and Johnson were identified as suspects during the initial investigation, officials said. Police found three $100 bills and clothing matching what the attackers were wearing in Jones’ car. They also found a black handgun at Johnson’s home, prosecutors said. Investigators found alleged evidence in Johnson’s car of a transfer of approximately $700 to Jamaica and cash deposits totaling $4,100 made at a Connecticut bank.

Police also searched a farmhouse in Tisbury used by a landscaping company Jones worked for. They found a glove, a strip of paper money, a zip tie and several rubber bands, officials said. They discovered an area with signs of a recent fire and found pieces of burnt nylon, white metallic plastic matching the masks worn by the thieves, burnt walkie-talkie pieces, an antenna, batteries and bits of metal compatible with a sports bag. zipper, officials said.

A few feet from the burned area, investigators found two semi-automatic handguns loaded with 9mm ammunition buried a few inches below ground, prosecutors said.

Jones was arrested Nov. 19 for accessory after the fact and was later charged with armed and masked bank robbery in Edgartown District Court.

Edgartown District Court issued a criminal complaint and arrest warrant for Johnson, who was located by police in New Haven, Connecticut, and taken into custody. The investigation is still ongoing, officials said.



Boston

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