Gloucester police seeking bank robber

Gloucester police are seeking a suspect in the holdup of the Institution for Savings on Parker Street this morning. The bank is closed temporarily.

A man suspected of holding up the Institution for Savings bank outlet on Parker Street in Gloucester moments after 9 Monday morning has been captured by police in Lynn.

The man, whose identify has not yet been released, was taken into custody as he came off a bus in Lynn, Gloucester interim police Chief John McCarthy has confirmed. The suspect had apparently ridden it there while trying to escape from Gloucester.

Gloucester and Massachusetts State Police had been searching for a man described as being in his 30s and wearing with a black hat and black sweatshirt who reportedly held up the bank branch at 4 Parker St. in Gloucester about an hour after the branch opened at 8 a.m. McCarthy said he anticipates the suspect will be arraigned Tuesday in Gloucester District Court.

A sign placed on the bank door by 9:30 a.m. indicated that the facility was temporarily closed while offering an apology to customers for their "inconvenience." The bank's drive-up windows and automated teller machine were also shut down on the exterior of the building.

Gloucester police had been looking into whether the reported theft of a vehicle shortly after 8 a.m. from the town of Manchester had any ties to the robbery, police radio reports indicated, and McCarthy confirmed that was the case. Manchester police said that aspect of the case is under investigation, but also indicated that the vehicle had, as of 11:30 a.m., been recovered in Gloucester.

Neither McCarthy nor Mary Anne Clancy, vice president of communications for the bank based in Newburyport, would confirm whether the man —who reportedly had brown hair and had walked into the bank with a backpack — made off with any cash, or, if so, how much. It was not clear whether the man was armed.

Clancy said the bank was to remain closed throughout the day Monday, but is set to reopen as scheduled Tuesday at 8 a.m.

The "six or seven" bank employees who were working at the time of the holdup precisely followed robbery protocols, she said, adding there were no injuries.

"They are trained in these matters," she said of the employees, "and they followed the procedures beautifully. They did everything just as they were supposed to do."

Earlier, Gloucester police stationed patrol cars at Grant Circle and at the Cape Ann Plaza just off the circle in the minutes immediately following the holdup.

At the bank, a handful of Gloucester detectives could be seen inside the lobby speaking with at least one bank employee and discussing the scene among themselves just before 10 a.m.. Officers were still on the scene as of 11:30. The investigation has included examining the bank's security video system, showing both interior and outdoor footage around the institution, according to broadcast reports from the scene.

The reported bank robbery is believed to be the first in Gloucester since the March 2015 robbery of the First Ipswich Bank in the Main Street Plaza. In that case, the robber was apprehended by police some 2 1/2 hours later after he took a taxicab while trying to catch a commuter rail train out of the city.

Gloucestertimes.com will further update this story as more information becomes available.  For more on this story, look to Tuesday's editions of the Gloucester Daily Times and gloucestertimes.com.

Ray Lamont can be reached at 978-675-2705, or rlamont@gloucestertimes.com.