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City Police Arrest Suspected 'Baybank Bandit'

By Daniel C. Stevenson
News Editor

The Cambridge Police apprehended a man Tuesday evening believed to be the "Baybank bandit," according to Frank Pasquarello, public information officer for the Cambridge Police.

The suspect, Willy Dorch, is accused of robbing six people, including two MIT students, at gunpoint at automated teller machines on the edges of campus and near independent living groups, Pasquarello said.

In one of the crimes the robber made a victim walk from Cambridge to Boston across the Harvard Bridge to get money from a machine, Pasquarello said. Dorch is also a suspect for crimes in New Hampshire, he said.

Erik D. Kupferberg G was robbed on Sept. 23 at the Baybank ATM at 226 Main St. in Kendall Square. The robber followed Kupferberg out of the ATM lobby into the Sloan School parking lot and then showed him a gun, Kupferberg said. The robber escorted Kupferberg back to the ATM and had him withdraw the limit of $500.

Undergraduate is the latest victim

Joel P. Johnson '98, the latest victim, was approached last Friday morning as he left the Pi Lambda Phi fraternity house on 450 Beacon St. The robber approached Johnson and asked him if he was a college student.

"He was a pretty friendly guy at first," Johnson said, but when Johnson tried to walk away, the robber displayed a gun. "He asked me if I was going to cooperate," Johnson said. "I said yes."

The robber told Johnson that because he was a college student, he had a lot of money, Johnson said. "He wasn't really in a sane state of mind."

The robber walked Johnson to the Quality Mart ATM on the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Beacon Street and had him withdraw the limit of $500, Johnson said.

After handing the money to the robber, Johnson left the store, walked across the Harvard Bridge to MIT, and reported the incident to the Campus Police, Johnson said.

The Quality Mart had a video surveillance camera, Johnson said. The robber turned around in front of the camera and presented a clear picture, which helped the police identify the suspect, Johnson said.

Bail hearing today

Dorch was arrested at approximately 6 p.m. Tuesday while breaking into a house on Bryant Street in Cambridge, Pasquarello said.

When the police arrived on the scene of the house break, the suspect "ran out the door and around the corner and was apprehended after a footchase with the Harvard and Cambridge Police," Pasquarello said.

Dorch has been charged with one count each of armed robbery, kidnapping, armed assault with intent to rob, confining and placing a person in fear, and receiving stolen property, and three counts of breaking and entering, according to Jill Reilly, spokesperson for the district attorney's office, which is handling the case.

Dorch pleaded not guilty to the charges at an arraignment Wednesday morning in Cambridge District Court, Pasquarello said.

The charges stem from several of the robbery incidents and the house break on Tuesday, Reilly said. Dorch is also a suspect in five additional armed robberies in the area, she said.

Because several of the charges are felonies, the case must go to a grand jury which could decide to indict Dorch on one or more of the charges, Reilly said. Following an indictment, the case would move to Superior Court, she said.

As of yesterday, Dorch was being held without bail, Reilly said. The bail hearing is today, she said.

"I'm pretty glad he got caught," Johnson said. "It didn't look like he was going to stop."

Kupferberg said he was pleased with the speed of the capture of the suspect.

"I was surprised when the police had first expressed their confidence" in finding the robber, Kupferberg said. The police said that because the robber was so brazen, he would not be hard to catch, Kupferberg said.

"I hope they have plenty of evidence to put him away" when the case comes to trial, Kupferberg said.

"We're quite happy" with the arrest, said Chief of Campus Police Anne P. Glavin. Campus Police and members of the MIT community have been providing information to the Cambridge Police regarding the case, Glavin said.