NEWTON — Police in Newton are eyeing similarities between a recent holdup at the Merrimac Savings Bank and one last week at a bank in Portsmouth.
One of the most striking similarities is the method of escape: Both suspected robbers fled on bicycles.
Newton police say they now want to speak with a man charged in last Friday’s robbery at the Newburyport Five Cent Savings Bank in Portsmouth.
“There are a lot of similarities,” Newton Police Chief Larry Streeter said.
Jamie Pointer, 27, of 115 Ledgewood Drive, Portsmouth, was arraigned Monday on charges stemming from the Portsmouth holdup. Witnesses told police that he changed clothes after the robbery and took off on a bicycle.
Pointer was arrested about an hour later after his description was issued to local police agencies. A state trooper spotted Pointer on Grafton Road in Portsmouth.
He remains held on $50,000 cash-only bail at the Rockingham County jail.
The robbery followed a heist at the bank in Newton on Sept. 19. In that case, the man left with envelopes containing cash and hopped on a bike that he parked in a handicapped spot in front of the bank.
The robber was seen heading south on Route 108, but he got away despite an extensive police search by car, foot, and all-terrain vehicles.
Police aren’t sure if the robber in the Newton case used a bicycle as his only mode of transportation or fled for a short distance on the bike and then jumped into a getaway vehicle.
Pointer, who is familiar to law enforcement, has only been charged in the Portsmouth robbery.
Portsmouth police Capt. Mike Schwartz said he couldn’t comment specifically on the Newton case and whether Pointer is a suspect in other similar bank robberies by bicycle.
“We still have leads to follow up on in our investigation and we cooperate with other agencies,” he said.