BOSTON (WHDH) – An East Boston man accused of robbing a bank in Peabody and fleeing the scene in a taxi was ordered held without bail Tuesday.
Leo Willwerth, 31, pleaded not guilty in Peabody District Court to criminal charges stemming from the robbery of a Bank of America on Andover Street about 2:19 p.m. Monday.
Prosecutors say after he was arrested, Willwerth admitted to the robbery and two others. Willwerth told authorities he did it for drugs, according to officials.
Peabody police say Willwerth claimed to have a bomb strapped to his chest before running off with an undisclosed amount of cash.
After the robbery, police say Willwerth went across the street to the North Shore Mall, where he got into a taxi with a woman.
Kevin Guilfoyle, the taxi driver who was unaware of what his passenger was accused of doing, was stopped on Interstate 93 in Boston near Melnea Cass Boulevard, where Willwerth was arrested.
“I’m fine,” Guilfoyle told 7News in a phone call. “It was an incident where maybe the guy had some kind of drug problem.”
Guilfoyle added, “He made a mistake and I actually feel bad for the poor guy. His first mistake was probably using drugs and his second was robbing a bank.”
State police say Willwerth has since admitted to robbing a Santander Bank in Boston June 5 and an East Boston Savings Bank in South Boston on June 7 and will be charged in connection with those robberies in the coming days.
It’s unclear whether the woman he was traveling with was aware that he had robbed a bank.
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