NORTH KINGSTOWN—In conjunction with East Greenwich Police Department, North Kingstown Police detectives made quick work of finding their suspect who robbed the BankNewport off Ten Rod Road last Wednesday.
The perpetrator, Thomas N. Shellman, of 30 Lang Drive, was apprehended the next day, Thursday, Feb. 21, after police detectives were able to use an anonymous tip to their advantage.
“The call came in to dispatch, who immediately sent several patrol officers and verified a robbery did take place,” said Det. Lieutenant Christopher E. Emerson of NKPD. “Units started searching the area and a description of the suspect was put out to surrounding agencies.”
“Detectives responded and processed the scene where video was seized,” he added. “At that point, we received an anonymous tip that the defendant was possibly Mr. Shellman.”
When Shellman had robbed the BankNewport on Wednesday at approximately 2 p.m., he entered the lobby area wearing a long, black wool coat and a winter-knit cap. The suspect then handed a note to the teller demanding money. A search warrant was issued for Shellman’s residence at 30 Lang Drive and officers found all the pieces of clothing that he was wearing at the time of the robbery. They also discovered the note and money which were traced back to the bank.
Emerson praised the collaborative work done between the North Kingstown and East Greenwich Police departments.
“The successful apprehension of Mr. Shellman was a result of North Kingstown and East Greenwich patrol officers and detectives,” said Emerson. “It has been several years since the last bank robbery, and this was the result of the hard work of the North Kingstown patrol division and its initial response in the area, as well as the detectives, in particular Det. Tyler Denison.”
Leslie Vogt-Behan, BankNewport Vice-President and Security Manager, also recognized the calm approach which the bank’s North Kingstown employees displayed during the moments of the robbery.
“Our North Kingstown Branch staff reacted to the robbery with a high degree of professionalism, followed security protocol and, as a result, everyone was safe,” said Leslie Vogt-Behan, spokesperson for Bank Newport. “With the help of East Greenwich police, a suspect was arrested on Wednesday evening, the day of the event.”
“BankNewport considers security procedures top priority for the safety of staff and customers, and all employees are trained to be vigilant to suspicious behavior,” she added.
Shellman was arraigned at Third District Court last Friday on one count each of first degree robbery and receiving stolen goods. The first degree charge is a result of the teller from which the suspect demanded money was over sixty years old.