Video surveillance footage and assistance from family members have led officers to arrest a Wolcott man in connection with at least two bank robberies in central Connecticut including a Saturday theft from Webster Bank in Southington.
A judge at Bristol Superior Court Wednesday ordered Brian Lavigne, last know address of 1530 Wolcott Road in Wolcott, held in lieu of a $500,000 bond after he was arraigned on charges of first-degree robbery, fourth-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit each.
Newtown police are also seeking similar charges against Lavigne, who is considered the primary suspect in a Monday afternoon robbery after surveillance footage showed a man believed to be Lavigne handing a teller a note and leaving with an undisclosed amount of cash.
Lt. George Sinko of the Newtown Police Department said the photographs matched those taken in Southington and the method used to rob the bank was also similar. Police have not had the chance to question Lavigne, however, and Sinko said investigators would continue to work to obtain a warrant.
Southington detectives took Lavigne, 26, into custody Tuesday afternoon after obtaining a warrant with help from family and associates. The detectives then tracked the Wolcott man to a Waterbury home where he had been staying in an effort to avoid detection, a police report said.
“The facts are pretty straightforward with this case. Detectives obtained information that led them to believe (Lavigne) was involved and after showing surveillance photos to family members and associates, they eventually identified him,” said Sgt. Lowell DePalma of the Southington Police Department.
Detectives had received several calls regarding Lavigne after the surveillance photos were issued to local media outlets for assistance, DePalma said.
According to the arrest warrant, a man later identified as Lavigne entered the Webster Bank, 359 Queen St., Saturday morning just before noon and proceeded to hand the note to a teller stating that he had a gun and demanding cash.
Police said Lavigne was given an undisclosed amount of cash and left quickly, entering a sedan that headed north toward Interstate 84.
In Newtown Monday, police said a similar robbery occurred at Chase Bank in which a man fitting Lavigne’s description entered the bank - wearing the same hat used during the Southington robbery as shown in surveillance photographs - then handed the teller a note and left with an undisclosed amount of money. The robber again got into a sedan, police said, and the car immediately left the scene.
DePalma said although Lavigne is not suspected in any other local robberies, he may be wanted in other parts of the state. Police are also "anticipating additional arrests in the case" but would not release further details.
A getaway driver was suspected to have been involved in the robbery, police confirmed, but did not say if they had identified a driver in the case.
Lavigne was unable to post bond by the end of the day Wednesday, according to staff in the criminal clerk’s office at Bristol Superior Court, as is due back in court on May 19 to present a plea in the case.