Escaped prisoner captured in Somerville after attempted bank robbery

Escaped prisoner captured in Somerville after attempted bank robbery

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — After several days on the run, a prisoner who escaped a Rhode Island detention center was captured in Somerville, Massachusetts Thursday.


A search in the area began when a suspect that attempted to rob a Cambridge bank Thursday morning matched the description of James Morales, said state police.

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Police said that the attempted robbery happened at 9:26 a.m. at the Bank of America at 772 Massachusetts Ave. The suspect passed a note, but did not get any money, said police.

The Boston Regional Intelligence Center sent out a "Be on the Lookout" with photos from the bank robbery and said that the suspect resembled James Morales. The advisory led to a massive search all over Cambridge and Somerville.

Just before 4 p.m. Thursday, officials said that Morales had been captured in Somerville near McGrath Highway, in the neighborhood of Union Square. Morales had allegedly just attempted to rob the Citizens Bank on Broadway and was recognized by a trooper.

Trooper Joseph Merrick spotted Morales and started to chase after him. The chase went down Broadway in the Foss Park area. A few moments later, the trooper caught up to Morales.

It's unclear where Morales was taken following his arrest, but he is expected to appear in Federal Court in Providence Friday.


On Saturday night, Morales, who was being held for allegedly stealing weapons from the Worcester Armory, escaped from the Wyatt Detention Facility after climbing up a razor wire fence and jumping across the roof tops of several buildings.

Morales then allegedly stole a car in Attleboro Saturday evening and is believed to have headed to Framingham, where officers believe he may have been trying to contact an ex-girlfriend.

Three correction officers and one supervisor at the Wyatt Detention Center have been placed on leave pending the outcome of an investigation into Morales' escape.