WOONSOCKET — A city man was in police custody Tuesday evening after allegedly robbing the Sovereign Bank at 11 Social St. of an undetermined amount of cash earlier in the day.
Howard Nightingale, 46, of East School St., was apprehended on a Rhode Island Public Transportation Authority bus at Park Square after police received information he was on the vehicle, Police Lt. Eugene Jalette said Tuesday evening.
“The bus was stopped by North Smithfield police and officers were able to get him off the bus and place him under arrest,” Jalette said.
Nightingale is alleged to have entered the bank branch at 9:45 a.m. and approached a teller. He made a demand for cash and was given an unspecified amount of money before fleeing the bank property on foot, Jalette said. No weapon was shown in the incident and no one was reported injured, Jalette said.
After responding to the bank alarm, police began a search of the surrounding area and local businesses for information on the robber.
Jalette said a surveillance photograph of Nightingale was obtained and shown to contacts in the area as the investigation continued.
Staff at the Woonsocket Probation Office on Pond Street assisted the department in obtaining Nightingale’s identity and a warrant was obtained for his arrest, Jalette said.
“We started looking for him and went to locations in the city where he might be,” he said. Police then learned that Nightingale may have taken a RIPTA bus out of the city and traveled to Providence in an attempt to locate him. Providence Police also joined the investigation and at about 6:30 p.m. local detectives learned of Nightingale’s location on the bus headed to North Smithfield, Jalette said.
Nightingale was charged with second degree robbery after his arrest and was being held at the station Tuesday night pending his arraignment on the charge in District Court, Providence, on Wednesday. The case remains under investigation, Jalette said.
Jalette thanked Providence Police, North Smithfield Police, RIPTA and the Woonsocket Probation Office for their assistance in the quick arrest of a suspect in the robbery.
The robbery follows the tragic killing of David Main of Lincoln outside the Citizens Bank on Diamond Hill Road where he went to make a deposit on Sept. 20. Three people have been arrested and charged Main’s robbery and murder.
“We are just very happy to get this done quickly and give some peace to mind to people in the city in light of what happened earlier at Citizens Bank,” Jalette said.