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            CONCORD – Thomas Hegarty, 26, of Rochester, pleaded guilty in federal court to attempted bank robbery and robbery charges, United States Attorney Scott W. Murray announced today.

            According to court documents and statements made in court, on April 9, 2020, at around 4:00 a.m., Hegarty entered a Circle K gas station in Rochester, New Hampshire, showed the teller a hammer, and stole cash from the register. Later that morning, Hegarty entered a bank in Dover, New Hampshire, and passed the teller a note demanding money and indicating that he had a weapon. Tellers locked themselves in an office and called the police. Hegarty jumped over the teller counter and unsuccessfully attempted to open the teller drawers. He then fled the bank without taking any money. Investigators released surveillance photographs from the robberies to the public and identified and apprehended Hegarty later that day. At the time of the robberies, Hegarty was on federal supervised release.

            Hegarty is scheduled to be sentenced on January 20, 2021.

            “Robberies of banks and other commercial establishments jeopardize the safety of our citizens and will not be tolerated,” said U.S. Attorney Murray.  “Federal law provides substantial penalties for those who engage in these crimes and they are a high priority for federal prosecution.  We will continue to work closely with the FBI and all of our law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute violent criminals in order to ensure that residents of New Hampshire can have confidence that their communities are safe.”    

            “Concerned citizens are among the FBI’s most valuable assets when it comes to apprehending potentially dangerous lawbreakers like Thomas Hegarty, whose criminal conduct escalated in the course of a single day from robbing a gas station with a hammer to attempting to rob a bank while threatening to be armed,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “We thank those who bravely stepped forward to identify him, and in doing so helped make today’s guilty pleas possible. This collaborative effort to address violent crimes within our communities is just one example of how we can really make a difference when we all work together.”

             This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations with assistance from the Rochester Police Department and the Dover Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Georgiana L. MacDonald.

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