Alleged Portland bank robber caught within minutes

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PORTLAND — A Portland man robbed a downtown bank Tuesday afternoon, police said, but was arrested minutes later.

Joseph Blais, 49, allegedly entered  the Key Bank in Monument Square around 2 p.m. and demanded money from a teller. No weapon was displayed, and Blais fled east on Congress Street with $1,000.

After being notified by the bank, police responded and broadcast a description of Blais to patrol officers in the area. About nine minutes later, Officer Dan Rose spotted a man two blocks away from the bank wearing clothes described by the teller, at Cumberland Avenue and Chestnut Street.

Police said Blais had the cash, still wrapped in a bank band, and evidence linking him to the crime. He was charged with Class B robbery, and was held at Cumberland County Jail on $15,000 bail.