EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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September 20, 2013

Bank robber's getaway vehicle was a bicycle

NEWTON — When Police Chief Lawrence Streeter received a call yesterday about a robbery at Merrimac Savings Bank, the last person he expected to hear from was his wife.

Head teller Cindy Streeter was one of three employees working at the South Main Street bank when a man, with a red New England Patriots hat pulled down over his face, passed a note to another teller that demanded money

The man, who rode up to the bank on a green mountain bicycle, had leaned the bike against a pole and nonchalantly walked inside, the police chief said.

The robber did not brandish a gun or threaten the employees in any way before fleeing with a white envelope full of an undetermined amount of cash, Streeter said.

The man, wearing a blue sweater and blue jeans and believed to be about 5-foot-8 with a thin build then hopped on the bicycle and headed south on South Main Street, Streeter said. He was still at large last night.

The employees triggered the bank’s alarm system. Streeter, riding in his cruiser about 2 miles away, then received a call from his wife of 34 years.

“Larry, we’ve just been robbed,” Cindy Streeter said.

Streeter said it was the first time in his 40 years in law enforcement he’s had to respond to a crime involving his wife. He said she held up well under the stress.

“I was nervous for her,” he said. “But she’s fine, she’s a trouper.”

As for him?

“You just keep your composure,” he said. “We’ve had three kids and we’ve seen it all.”

The bank robbery drew officers from the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office, New Hampshire State Police and several New Hampshire police departments, including Kingston, East Kingston and Plaistow.

An officer on an all-terrain vehicle searched woods behind the bank. Several cruisers were parked on nearby streets as officers scoured the woods for the robber.

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