news

MetroWest Daily News reports that the accused bank robber in an incident that occurred yesterday has been identified as 34-year-old local firefighter, Michael Espinosa. He is accused of ordering a female bank teller to fill a bag with cash and fleeing the scene in his SUV.

The Citizens Bank on 829 Worcester St. in Natick, Massachusetts was robbed just after 11:10 on November 9, 2017. Reports from police state the female teller was told the robber had a gun, though she never actually saw one. Lt. Rossi said “He put a bag on the counter and told her to give him the money with no dye packs.”

There were no injuries during the robbery, says The Daily News. Witnesses described the robber as a 5’10” white male in his 30s. At the time of the robbery, the suspect was wearing a black t-shirt, grey hooded sweatshirt, black cap, black sneakers and black pants. The suspect fled the scene in a dark SUV that may have been a Jeep according to local security camera footage.

About 11 hours after incident, Espinosa was arrested near his home and arraigned in court on November 10. He faces one charge of armed robbery. Espinosa is pleading not guilty, and was not granted bail, according to The Daily News. His next court hearing is scheduled for November 16.

In an interesting twist, Espinosa was honored in 2015 with 23 other firefighters for rescuing a woman trapped in a submerged vehicle. Two other victims died in that same crash. Espinosa was a member of the dive rescue team, which had to cut through the trunk of the car to free the trapped woman.

It is possible that Espinosa also served in the armed forces, as the town’s annual report filed in 2010 lists him as being on military deployment, says The Daily News. Approximately $1,000 was stolen during the heist, and Espinosa allegedly admitted to committing the crime when being questioned by police. However, he also stated that he had spent the cash prior to being arrested.

Public records list Espinosa’s annual salary as a fireman at $68,775.