FALL RIVER – So much for second chances.
A Fall River man who claims to be the inspiration for Ben Affleck’s character in the bank robbery movie ‘The Town’ has been accused of robbing a TD Bank branch in downtown Boston. Yet two years ago, he appeared on the popular TV show “Caught in Providence” and received a reprieve for several outstanding traffic tickets, largely because he expressed remorse for his past as a bank robber and the desire to change his life.
William Sequeira, 59, has been charged with one count of bank robbery and will appear in federal court in Boston at a later date, according to a press release from the office of U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins.
Fall River police were able to help law enforcement officials make the connection, after a September bank robbery on Rodman Street.
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According to the charging documents, on September 30, a white male – later identified as Sequeira – entered the TD Bank branch on Union Street in Boston. Once inside, Sequeira reportedly approached a cashier and said, “Give me all the $100 in the drawer” and “Give me all the money before I blow your brains out.” Sequeira fled on foot after getting money from the cashier. It is alleged that surveillance footage from the theft and subsequent interviews positively identified Sequeira as the thief.
On October 5, law enforcement patrolling the Back Bay area in an effort to locate Sequeira spotted him entering a Citizens Bank branch on Boston’s Boylston Street. There, it is alleged that Sequeira approached the cashier, said “Give me hundreds”, then threatened to shoot the cashier if he didn’t act fast enough. Sequeira was immediately apprehended.
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Sequeira also faces charges in Fall River in connection with a robbery at Citizens Bank located at 501 Rodman St.
Detective Luis Vertentes of the Major Crimes Division has been named lead investigator in the case, according to an FRPD press release. During his investigation, Vertentes shared photographs of the robbery suspect within the department in hopes of identifying him. Members of the gang unit told Vertentes that the suspect resembled an individual suspected of multiple bank robberies in and around Boston. In fact, Special Operations Division Officer Eric Pacheco remembers talking to a man during a detail who told him that Ben Affleck had made a movie – “The Town,” about a gang of bank robbers. and armored cars – in which the main character was based on him. He also told Pacheco that he had been on an episode of “Caught in Providence” with Judge Frank Caprio.
In the episode, he told Caprio that he served 37 years in federal prison for bank robbery. He was asking for leniency with respect to certain contraventions. Caprio seemed intrigued by her story. Sequeira told him when he was caught he had half a million dollars hidden in his refrigerator in milk containers. He also claimed to have been involved in the largest police chase in Rhode Island history, after he robbed a bank in Cranston. But he also said he was trying to turn his life around, doing deliveries for a production company, and said he never wanted to end up in jail again.
Caprio ended up clearing his $150 in traffic tickets with a donation he received for “someone who deserves a break.”
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On October 4, Vertentes was able to alert Boston law enforcement that Sequeira was en route to that city.
The bank robbery charge carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of probation and a $250,000 fine. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on US sentencing guidelines and the laws that govern sentencing in a criminal case.