Methuen Man Charged with Four Bank Robberies

A Methuen man has been charged with robbing four Middlesex County banks in August and September, escaping each time on a motorcycle.

Caio Costa, 25, was charged in Boston federal court on Wednesday with armed bank robbery and brandishing a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence. Costa was arrested on Sept. 26 and detained following this week’s court appearance, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office.

According to charging documents, between Aug. 28 and Sept. 25, someone with a gun entered four Middlesex County banks wearing dark clothing and a motorcycle helmet. Following each robbery, he escaped on a dark-colored motorcycle.

Prosecutors allege that on Sept. 25, an individual, later determined to be Costa, entered a Salem Five Bank in Tewksbury. Costa approached a teller, took out what appeared to be a black revolver and demanded the bank’s money, according to the statement from the U.S. attorney’s office. The teller handed Costa cash, and Costa exited the bank, leaving the area on a dark-colored motorcycle.

Local law enforcement, who became aware of the robbery, saw Costa on the motorcycle in traffic and attempted to stop him, according to the statement. Costa eventually crashed the motorcycle and escaped on foot, leaving his black helmet behind.

Costa was located the following day in a New Hampshire hotel and arrested without incident. During an interview with law enforcement, Costa admitted to the robbery at Salem Five and three other armed robberies: at Eastern Bank in Chelmsford on Aug. 28, at People’s United Bank in Lowell on Sept. 18 and at Reading Cooperative Bank in Wilmington on Sept. 18.

The charge of armed bank robbery provides for a sentence of up to 25 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of brandishing a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence provides for a mandatory sentence of seven years in prison to be served consecutive to the armed robbery charges.