AP NEWS

Cops say bus passenger was Bridgeport bank robber

April 2, 2019

BRIDGEPORT — A local man who police said robbed a city bank with a fake bomb was arrested in Waterbury.

Richard Herbert, 61, of uncertain address, was taken into custody Monday on an outstanding warrant charging him with first-degree robbery, breach of peace and first-degree threatening.

During Herbert’s arraignment Tuesday afternoon in Superior Court here, Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Tatiana Messina urged Judge Eugene Calistro to set a high bond for Herbert, pointing out that the defendant has 38 previous felony convictions in Connecticut alone.

Herbert is currently on probation for a Milford larceny conviction. The judge ordered him held in lieu of $250,000 bond.

“Thank you, your honor,” Herbert told the judge before he was taken away by judicial marshals.

Herbert is accused of robbing the People’s United Bank branch in the Stop and Shop supermarket on Fairfield Avenue on Jan. 23.

Police responded to a call of a bomb in the bank. When officers arrived there, they cleared out the supermarket and brought in a bomb-sniffing dog which determined that the small brown box left on the teller’s counter did not contain explosives, police said.

Police said a bank teller told them that a man, dressed in a hat, gloves and a scarf, approached her work station, placed the box on the counter in front of her and told her, “Don’t try to call anyone.”

The man demanded hundred-dollar bills and no dye pack, and then told the teller, “I am going to leave this bomb here and if you do anything, I will detonate the bomb,” police said. He then fled with between $2,000 and $3,000.

Police said witnesses told them the man had gotten onto a city bus after fleeing the bank. Detectives said they later obtained the surveillance video from the bus and saw a recording of the robber changing his clothes and appearance in the bus. They said they were able to get a clear photo identifying Herbert as the bank robber.