NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Police have raided a North Providence storage unit facility in connection with the ongoing investigation into a $500,000 bank heist last month in Providence.
Target 12 has confirmed Providence police executed a search warrant at Public Storage on Mineral Spring Avenue midday Friday, assisted by North Providence police.
Law enforcement has confirmed the raid is tied to a heist at Santander Bank on June 29 that’s sent police scrambling across the state to try and retrieve the half million dollars. Police have not announced any arrests yet.
A group of unmarked police cars showed up to the storage facility around noon, assembled in a nearby supermarket market and then entered the property. Target 12 captured video of police gathering around a unit in Building B. A North Providence Fire Department truck showed up to assist in the search and power tools and a crow bar were used to access the unit.
Police then took several items out of the unit.
“They got the court-ordered warrant signed and our detectives, along with the Providence detectives came here and went into one of the storage units,” North Providence Police Chief Alfredo Ruggiero told 12 News.
Ruggiero deferred questions about the investigation to Providence police and said the public was not in any danger.
Police and fire cleared the storage unit scene just before 2 p.m.
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The heist has been described as “sophisticated,” as the bank had a large amount of cash in the vault at the time because Santander employees were preparing to stock ATMs the next day. The thieves opened the bank vault “with no difficulty” and got away through a back door within three minutes of entering the building, according to an affidavit obtained earlier this week.
On June 30, police said they had identified “persons of interest” in connection to the probe, and Target 12 confirmed law enforcement has been examining whether it was an inside job. On July 3, detectives searched the home of a bank employee in Woonsocket on suspicion she may have been involved.
Police said inside the house they found two vaults containing 91 two-dollar bills in a Santander bank envelope, along with $6,000 in cash, according to a search warrant. Police also reported finding a suitcase, cell phones and passports, along with clothing that matched the suspects’ description.
The bank employee had not been charged as of Friday afternoon.
Tim White, Matt Paddock, Sarah Doiron and Kate Wilkinson contributed to this report.