FREEPORT — The FBI has joined police officers from Portland, Brunswick, Yarmouth and Freeport to investigate three robberies that took place Friday afternoon.
Portland Lt. James Sweatt said Monday that given the timeline and other information, “We believe there’s a good chance that these are related.”
At 1:45 p.m. Friday, an armed man approached a man sitting in his vehicle in the Hannaford parking lot on Forest Avenue in Portland and demanded his phone, according to Portland police. The robber, who was described as a black man, about 20 years old, 5 feet 10 inches tall and wearing dark clothing, eventually fled on foot without the phone.
About an hour later, a woman sitting in her silver Honda Pilot at Seaside Nursing Home in Portland was approached by a man who pointed a gun at her and ordered her out of the car before she fled, police said. The man, who fit the same description as the earlier robber, allegedly stole the Pilot.
At 2:59 p.m., a black man armed with a handgun robbed KeyBank at 135 Main St. in Freeport, according to police.
According to a release Friday from the Freeport police, the man brandished a semi-automatic handgun and demanded money from a teller before fleeing with an undisclosed amount of money in a silver sport utility vehicle.
The silver SUV was found abandoned Friday night in Yarmouth and processed for evidence.
“We’re trying to tie it together with a hit-and-run accident in Yarmouth afterward,” Freeport Police Chief Gerald Schofield said Monday, before adding that he had no additional information until Officer Thomas Gabbard returned to work on Tuesday.
Sweatt said Monday that his detectives worked throughout the weekend with Brunswick detectives who went to investigate the Freeport robbery, as well as Yarmouth police and the FBI, to interview witnesses, review videotape and identify evidence.
“There’s a strong possibility they’re related, and we’re aggressively pursuing that,” he said. “But short of evidence and the ability to prove it, we’re not there yet.”
Police also continue to investigate whether Friday’s robberies are connected to a series of robberies in May and June in Portland.
The TruChoice Federal Credit Union was robbed on May 26. On June 19, the cPort Federal Credit Union and the Bank of America branch in Monument Square were robbed.
In each case, a black man allegedly brandished a handgun and demanded cash. No injuries were reported in any of the robberies.
“The description of the individual is very close to the previous bank robberies, but short of evidence and the ability to prove it, we’re not there yet,” Sweatt said.
A $15,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest and successful prosecution of one or more people involved in the earlier robberies.
Anyone with information should call police at 874-8575.