Man charged with stealing weapons from US Army Reserve facility pleads guilty

(WHDH) — A man who was accused of breaking into a weapons vault at a Worcester Army Reserve center, stealing weapons, and attempting to rob two banks has pleaded guilty in US District Court.

James Morales, 35 of Cambridge, was accused of stealing six M-4 carbines and 10 M-11 handguns. According to reports, he was familiar with the facility because he had been stationed there as an Army Reservist before his discharge.

Morales was identified through DNA at the scene, upon which it was determined that Morales had rented a car and driven to New York City. He was then found and arrested on Nov. 18, 2015.

On Dec. 31, 2016, Morales escaped from the Donald Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, Rhode Island by climbing a basketball hoop, jumping onto a roof, and escaping through a barbed wire fence. Five days later, Morales was seen on surveillance footage attempting to rob a Bank of America branch in Cambridge, passing the teller a note and demanding cash.

Later that day, Morales was again captured on surveillance video in a Citizens Bank branch in Somerville, attempting to rob a bank by passing the teller a note. When the teller said they couldn’t give him money, Morales reportedly wished the teller a nice day and left.

Morales was eventually captured by police after a chase on foot in Somerville. He admitted to attempting to rob the banks.

A reward has been offered for the five handguns that have not yet been recovered as a result of the Army Reserve Center theft. Anyone with information about the location of these handguns should contact the FBI at (857) 386-2000.


Morales has yet to be sentenced in the case.


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