A 17-year-old Freetown girl reported missing by her family last week and a 21-year-old Florida man were arraigned today on charges they committed a string of bank robberies in Bristol County during the past two weeks.
Caitlin Ingham and Kristopher Santillo were tracked down to a motel on Route 6 in Dartmouth on Monday night by police from three departments who had identified them as suspects in at least three bank robberies, the first of which took place Feb. 6 in Acushnet, authorities said.
Also with Ingham and Santillo at the motel was Santillo's girlfriend, who was questioned but not charged with any crime, police said.
"The detectives' impression is that there is not enough brains among the three of them to orchestrate any multiplicity of bank heists,'' said Lieutenant Jeffrey Silva, spokesman for the New Bedford police. "She is not terribly sophisticated. She was only a two-minute drive away from the bank she robbed in Dartmouth'' when arrested.
Santillo pleaded not guilty in New Bedford District Court today to unarmed robbery charges for allegedly entering an Acushnet credit union on Feb. 6 and handing a teller a note demanding that he be given all the cash the teller had. He then fled on foot.
Kristopher Santillo (Police handout)
Ingham, meanwhile, appeared in the same courtroom, also pleading not guilty to unarmed robbery charges. She is accused of robbing a credit union in New Bedford last Friday and then shifting her attention to neighboring Dartmouth, where she allegedly robbed a bank on Saturday, according to interviews with police in the investigating departments.
Ingham and Santillo, who is a Florida native but lists an Acushnet address, were not romantically involved, although both were arrested at the Dartmouth motel Monday evening. Ingham was friends with Santillo's girlfriend, police said.
When police showed up Monday evening, Ingham claimed that she was forced by three black men to commit the robberies. She also falsely identified Santillo as her boyfriend, police said.
Bail was set at $3,500 cash for Ingham and $20,000 cash for Santillo, who also had his bail revoked in other cases, according to a spokesman for Bristol District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter.
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