LEWISTON – A getaway car used in a Lewiston bank heist last week was recovered in New Hampshire Monday after police there stopped the driver at about 5 p.m.
Although the car is believed to be a significant piece of evidence in the April 25 robbery, the robbery suspects remained at large. Police said the car is a rental and the man found driving it Monday appeared to have nothing to do with the heist at Bank of America on Sabattus Street.
Lewiston police detectives were in southern New Hampshire Monday night after learning the car they had been looking for had been stopped by police. No arrests were made.
The Bank of America was robbed last Monday when a lone man walked in and demanded money before fleeing out the back of the building.
Moments later, a Jeep Eagle sped down Demi Circle, bounced across Russell Street and crashed into a house on the other side. Police and witnesses said the car was empty when it crashed. It was believed the suspect had abandoned that car and then jumped into a second vehicle driven by an accomplice.
For several days, local and state police examined the crashed car and began investigating its ownership. It later determined the car had been purchased a day before the robbery but the new owner’s identity was not known.
While investigating that car, police were led to information about the second vehicle which was found in New Hampshire on Monday. Police would not say what specific information led them to the rental car.
At about 4:30 p.m. Monday, police in Lewiston learned that the car had been spotted in New Hampshire. A police bulletin broadcast throughout both states advised that the driver and occupants of that car should be considered armed and dangerous.
When the car was stopped, however, it was driven by a man who had only recently rented the vehicle. Police questioned that man and impounded the car.
“We’re confident we have the vehicle we have been looking for,” said Lewiston police Lt. Tom Avery.
Lewiston police detectives Brian O’Malley and Jim Theiss, who have been investigating the bank robbery, headed to southern New Hampshire early Monday night to inspect the rental car.