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Methuen Man Charged with Bank Robbery

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 BOSTON – A Methuen man was arrested and charged yesterday in connection with robbing five banks in Middlesex County in August and September 2020.

Caio Costa, 25, was charged by criminal complaint with armed bank robbery and brandishing a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence. Costa was arrested on state charges on Sept. 26, 2020, following the robbery of a branch of the Salem Five Bank in Tewksbury. Costa was detained following an initial appearance in federal court in Boston yesterday.

According to charging documents, between Aug. 28, 2020 and Sept. 25, 2020, four federally insured banks were robbed in Middlesex County. In each of these robberies, the robber entered the bank wearing dark clothing and a motorcycle helmet and brandished a black revolver. Following each robbery, the robber escaped on a dark-colored motorcycle.

It is alleged that, on Sept. 25, 2020, an individual, later determined to be Costa, wearing dark clothing and a motorcycle helmet entered a branch of the Salem Five Bank in Tewksbury. Costa approached a teller, brandished what appeared to be a black revolver and demanded the bank’s money. The teller handed Costa cash and Costa exited the bank and sped away on a dark-colored motorcycle. Local law enforcement, who became aware of the robbery, observed Costa on the motorcycle in traffic and attempted to stop him. Costa allegedly fled, accelerating at speeds estimated to be 80-100 miles per hour while weaving in and out of traffic. Costa eventually crashed the motorcycle and escaped on foot, leaving his black helmet behind. 

The following day, Costa was located in a New Hampshire hotel and arrested without incident. During an interview with law enforcement, Costa admitted to the Sept. 25, 2020 armed robbery of the Salem Five Bank in Tewksbury; the Aug. 28, 2020 armed robbery of the Eastern Bank in Chelmsford; the Sept. 18, 2020 armed robbery of the People’s United Bank in Lowell; and the Sept. 18, 2020 armed robbery of the Reading Co-Op in Wilmington.  

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. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan; Tewksbury Police Chief Ryan M. Columbus; Lowell Police Chief Christopher Hurst; Wilmington Police Chief Joseph Desmond; and Chelmsford Police Chief James M. Spinney made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth G. Shine of Lelling’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


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