Frederick Ryan, Chief of Police
112 Mystic St.
Arlington, MA 02474
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016
Contact: Captain Richard Flynn, PIO
Email: [email protected]
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Statement of Arlington Police Chief Frederick Ryan Regarding Arrest of Spelling Bee Bandit
ARLINGTON — Chief Frederick Ryan reports that the Arlington Police Department assisted the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force in an investigation that resulted in the arrest of a Chelsea man who allegedly robbed four banks in the Greater Boston area over the last several months.
JASON S. ENGLEN, AGE 34, OF CHELSEA, is charged with the robberies of:
- TD Bank in Arlington on Oct. 31
- TD Bank in Reading on Nov. 5
- Salem Five in Burlington on Nov. 7
- TD Bank in Peabody on Nov. 13
ENGLEN was arrested on Monday, Dec. 12 by the FBI.
On Monday, Oct. 31, Arlington Police were dispatched to TD Bank, 880 Massachusetts Ave. for a report of a robbery. When police arrived, the suspect had robbed and fled the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash. A search of the area was conducted, but officers were unable to locate the suspect.
After working on the investigation with members of the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force, Arlington Police Inspector James Smith applied for a search warrant out of Cambridge District Court for a Chelsea residence. Arlington Police Detective Sgt. Bryan Gallagher and Inspector Smith assisted the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force with the execution of the search warrant, which later led to the arrest of ENGLEN.
“Investigating this case took time, patience and commitment from all agencies involved,” Chief Ryan said. “I commend Arlington Police for their diligent work and collaboration with the FBI. Together we were able to bring this man to justice for his crimes.”
Below is the original press release from the Department of Justice on Monday, Dec.12:
BOSTON – A Chelsea man, dubbed the “Spelling Bee Bandit,” was arrested and charged today in connection with four bank robberies in the Greater Boston area.
Jason S. Englen, 34, was charged with the robberies of: TD Bank in Arlington on Oct. 31, 2016; TD Bank in Reading on Nov. 5, 2016; Salem Five in Burlington on Nov. 7, 2016; and TD Bank in Peabody on Nov. 13, 2016. A probable cause and detention before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler will continue tomorrow.
According to court documents, on Oct. 31, 2016, a man entered a branch of TD Bank in Arlington, approached a teller and presented a note written on a deposit slip with the word “ROBERY” written on it. The teller handed the man money from the drawer and he fled the bank. Following the robbery, the man’s image was circulated on public websites seeking information about his identity. Nearly identical incidents occurred on Nov. 5th at a branch of TD Bank in Reading, on Nov. 7th at a branch of Salem Five in Burlington, and on Nov. 13th at a branch of TD Bank in Peabody. During each robbery, the man handed the teller a note with the word “ROBERY” or “ROBERT” demanding cash. During the last robbery, the man told the teller he wanted $20 and $50 dollar bills. Following each robbery, the man’s image was circulated on public websites seeking information about his identity.
Based on the similarity of the robberies and the physical description of the robber provided by the bank tellers, a bulletin was circulated seeking the public’s help in identifying the perpetrator. As a result, law enforcement received information that the individual involved in the robberies was Englen. Englen, who was already in state custody on unrelated charges, was arrested by federal authorities today.
The charging statute provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000 and restitution. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Suffolk County Sheriff Steven Tompkins; Arlington Police Chief Frederick Ryan; Reading Police Chief Mark D. Segalla; Burlington Police Chief Michael Kent; and Peabody Police Chief Thomas Griffin, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth G. Shine of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.