Portland Police make arrest in credit union robbery, investigate other incidents

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PORTLAND — The man charged with the Sept. 25 robbery of a Forest Avenue credit union remained in jail Tuesday, while police continued to investigate a string of other city robberies.

Assistant Police Chief Vern Malloch said Sept. 26 that 42-year-old Thomas Monat had been charged with bank robbery after allegedly holding up the University Credit Union at 391 Forest Ave. around 3:40 p.m.

Staff at the Cumberland County Jail said Monat is being held on $100,000 bail.

Malloch said Monat was arrested on Forest Avenue several blocks from the credit union after he was identified by several people who had seen bank surveillance photos circulated by police.

The credit union has been robbed several times this year, most recently on Sept. 4, Malloch said.

Malloch also said police have not made any connections between the credit union robbery and the Sept. 23 robbery of the Domino’s Pizza at 788 Forest Ave. at around 1:55 a.m.

In that robbery, the suspect was alleged to have ordered a pizza before jumping over a counter and stealing cash from an employee. No one was reported injured in either robbery, according to police.

The credit union and pizza shop robberies came several days after police said they were seeking a suspect in a string of robberies on the West End, where women were attacked by someone trying to take their purses or cell phones.

The first report was made Sept. 16 by a 24-year-old city resident who said she was knocked down and dragged on Neal Street near Congress as the suspect attempted to take her purse. The incident occurred around 12:45 a.m., Malloch said.

Two robberies were reported Sept. 20. The first, at around 8:30 p.m., happened on Congress Street near Weymouth as a 21-year-old city resident resisted an attempted theft of her cell phone. She had just placed the phone in her pocket.

The second robbery was reported at 10:45 p.m. by a 24-year-old woman who said she resisted an attempted theft of her purse while she walked on Vaughan Street near Brackett Street.

Although in both incidents the suspect fled empty-handed, Malloch said police categorize all the crimes as robberies.

Anyone with information about the robberies is asked to contact police at 874-8539. Anonymous tips can also be made at www.portland-police.com or by texting 274637 and using the keyword “GOTCHA.”

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

Police said the public helped identify University Credit Union robbery suspect Thomas Monat from the surveillance photo. He was arrrested a day after the Sept. 25 robbery.

Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.