Lawrence police nab two men 15 minutes after bank heist

Two Lawrence men who allegedly robbed a TD Bank at gunpoint Thursday only to be caught 15 minutes later by police were arraigned today in Lawrence District Court, a prosecutor said.

Not guilty pleas were entered on behalf of Juan Muniz, 33, and Pablo Ortiz, 37, said Carrie Kimball Monahan, a spokeswoman for the Essex County District Attorney’s office.

Muniz, who was allegedly wearing a ski mask and holding a gun when he entered the bank Thursday yelling “Give me the money,” faces numerous charges, including armed robbery in a mask, possessing a firearm without a license, assault and battery on a police officer, and resisting arrest, Kimball Monahan said.

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Ortiz, who was allegedly the getaway driver waiting outside the South Broadway bank, is charged with armed and masked robbery, receiving stolen property, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and other charges.

Kimball Monahan said Lawrence police received a call from a woman standing outside the bank around 4:45 p.m. She told police that a man had just entered the bank wearing a ski mask.

Several seconds later, the woman told officers the man had exited the bank and she read off the license plate number of the car he got into, Kimball Monahan said.

Police quickly located the car and after a short car chase, Muniz and Ortiz allegedly exited their car and began fleeing on foot. Ortiz was quickly caught and taken into custody, Kimball Monahan said.

Officers found Muniz allegedly hiding a short time later and apprehended him after another short foot chase. He was allegedly carrying a bank bag containing $1,636 and a GPS tracking device, Kimball Monahan said.

Muniz sustained a concussion while allegedly resisting arrest and was treated at a hospital before being taken to the police station, she said.

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