July 24, 2019

Raids fail to nab robbery suspects > Warrants name suspects in heist at Bangor bank

Investigators have identified the two men who held up a Bangor bank Thursday morning but came up empty-handed after searching two residences Friday in Bangor.

Dressed in black, heavily armed and carrying protective shields, about nine law enforcement officers stormed Apartment No. 2 at 201 Center St. around 1:20 p.m.

Police had staked out the residence for several hours while a search warrant was being obtained. Police allowed traffic to flow normally until the actual warrant was served in order not to alert anyone inside, then blocked off Center Street around the apartment before they entered the premises.

Bangor Police Lt. Don Winslow said that a search warrant and an arrest warrant had been issued, but said because they were both sealed, he couldn’t provide any specific details, including the location identified in the warrant.

Sealing the warrants also prohibited police from releasing the names of the two men they said had used a gun to hold up the Bangor Savings Bank on State Street at 10:40 a.m. Thursday. The robbers got away with an undisclosed amount of money. They removed their ski masks while leaving the bank and were spotted by witnesses.

Winslow said investigators have identified both men and that one was a local man and the other had ties to the area.

Police recovered the teal-green minivan used in the bank robbery Thursday afternoon in a secluded parking lot behind the apartments above R.A.M. Tattoo on Essex Street in Bangor.

The 1995 Ford Windstar minivan was secured at the Bangor police station where it was combed for clues and evidence Thursday evening. Winslow said he couldn’t say what, if anything, was recovered from the minivan.

But at the Center Street apartment, police had expected to find one of the men inside, said Winslow. He acknowledged that the police had come up empty-handed. Departing the upstairs apartment, investigators, including members of the FBI and at least one representative of the Violent Crimes Task Force, continued to look around the outside of the building.

The presence of police and media nearby drew a small audience of people from their nearby homes. Two men stood outside the doorway of 213 Center St. wearing just jeans, no shirts. One had a drink in his hand.

“Shoot him,” one of the men shouted. He then joined his friend, shouting comments about the television show “COPS” and saying that the current incident was “too hot for television.”

Three members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints acted with more reserve. The three were just sitting down to lunch in another apartment at 213 Center St. when one noticed all the police cars.

“I looked out the window and wow, there were all these police cars,” said Elder Boyer, 20, who is from Stockton, Calif.

Around 1:30 p.m. the investigators drove off and a short while later a Bangor Daily News photographer spotted them coming out of an apartment building at 73 Broadway. They had battered down the door at that apartment and reportedly went in to search an apartment that, neighbors say, had been occupied by Michael Kenneth Morgenstern, 20.

Residents of an apartment in the Broadway building believed police tossed in a “concussion grenade” before entering Morgenstern’s apparently empty apartment. A black cat that reportedly lived in the apartment was found later on the fire escape.

Some residents said they had been advised by the police not to comment about what took place.

According to some of Morgenstern’s neighbors, they hadn’t seen the 20-year-old since Wednesday afternoon.

A neighbor said he was working outside, removing ice from the roof, when he saw a police cruiser and a SWAT team truck stop at the apartment building. Shortly after he said he heard a loud noise.

“All of a sudden I heard BA-BOOM, a huge explosion,” he said.

He said police eventually crowded inside his apartment and were “waving their guns around like toys.”

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