'Bearded Bandit' arrested in RI, Mass robberies
TAUNTON, Mass. (WHDH) -- A suspect believed to be the man dubbed the "Bearded Bandit" after a series of bank robberies in Rhode Island and Massachusetts was taken into custody at a Seekonk motel.
Authorities say they arrested 33-year-old Justin Worley at the Motel 6 in Seekonk at about 2 p.m. Wednesday.
Police believed his disguised himself with a fake beard.
Police say Worley was arrested with a bag of cocaine at the motel where he had allegedly been living with his fiancée and 2-year-old daughter.
Police say he confessed to the crimes.
“He did identify himself as the individual who admitted the robbery. He also confessed to the robberies in Rhode Island,” said James McKenna, prosecutor.
“The weight of the world is on this man’s shoulders. He’s as upset as you can possibly imagine,” said Kenneth Fredette, defense attorney.
Fredette says Worley served in the Army for 11 years, was deployed to Iraq seven times, suffered injuries that require him to take prescription medication, and is having financial difficulties. But Fredette says Worley is not a drug addict and did not, as police suggest, have a gun during the bank robberies.
“He claims he absolutely never had a weapon of any kind or threaten anybody with any harm,” Fredette said. “He never passed a note. I’m told these are all verbal requests for money from tellers.”
Authorities say they have a search warrant for Worley’s motel room and car to look for evidence, including a fake beard.
The defense attorney says Worley is aware of his notoriety as the so-called “Bearded Bandit.”
Worley was held on $300,000 cash bail at his arraignment Thursday.
Police say there have been at least eight robberies linked to the "Bearded Bandit" since February.