EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

June 2, 2011

Infant found in car at thwarted bank robbery

Pair linked to numerous other heists

ANDOVER — When Christopher Decareau approached the front door of the Eastern Bank branch on Main Street, his fingertips were covered with clear plastic Band-Aids, police said. Bandages also obscured tattoos on his neck and arms.

There was a note in his pocket that said "you are being robbed. Give me 100s + 50s. No excuses! No one gets hurt."

But Decareau, 26, of 382 Central St., Saugus, never made it in the front door of the bank.

According to records filed in court, members of the FBI Bank Robbery Task Force had been trailing Decareau and his girlfriend all day Tuesday through several area communities, watching as they cased banks.

They entered Andover at about 3:45 p.m. and drove by the Eastern Bank at 60 Main St. several times, said Andover police Lt. John Pathiakis. Federal and state agents then followed the two suspects and their child to Tewksbury, where they checked out one of the Eastern Banks there.

The duo returned to Andover and parked near the Main Street bank at around 5 p.m.

When Decareau got out, he left his girlfriend in the car with the baby.

As he approached the bank, he was apprehended by members of the FBI task force and local detectives. They found evidence on him that linked him to the previous bank robberies, Pathiakis said. He did not have a gun or a knife, but may have had note-writing material similar to what was used in previous incidents.

His girlfriend, Jennifer Sannizzaro, 24, who gave an address of 302 Essex Ave., Gloucester, was arrested on Chestnut Street as she sat in their black 2003 Lincoln Navigator with their 2-month-old daughter.

Both were arraigned yesterday in Lawrence District Court and charged with attempting to commit a crime — bank robbery.

At the beginning of the arraignment, defense attorney Stephen VanDyke sought to have his client, Decareau, stand out of view of news cameras in the courtroom, telling the court having his picture taken undermined his presumption of innocence.

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