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Man with several prior convictions and pending charges, sentenced to prison for armed robberies in Seekonk and Swansea



A 39-year-old Bristol, RI man who committed two separate armed robberies in Seekonk and Swansea during the first half of 2020 was sentenced to serve five years in state prison, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Niles Webster pleaded guilty in Fall River Superior Court to indictments charging him with armed robbery and armed assault with intent to rob.

On February 4, 2020, just after 10:30 a.m., Swansea Police responded to a reported armed robbery at the CVS Pharmacy located at 2340 GAR Highway. They learned that the suspect approached a register and told the store clerk, “I have a gun and I’m going to shoot you.” He then demanded “all the money in the register.” He then put his hands inside his sweatshirt pocket, held something inside of his sweatshirt pocket and pointed it at her, told her that he had multiple guns, and threatened her by saying, “I’m going to shoot you.” The cashier then opened the register, placed approximately $140 into a CVS bag, and gave it to the suspect. The suspect also demanded the contents of a “black box” and the register number before fleeing.

After reviewing CVS surveillance video, detectives learned that the man wore a black hooded sweatshirt with white Adidas lettering on its left sleeve, gray baseball hat with a patch on it above the brim, blue jeans, and a pair of gray sneakers with black soles and laces. The man also had what appeared to be a tattoo on the back of his left hand.

Surveillance video from a nearby Dunkin Donuts showed the suspect running away from the CVS toward a plaza next door with several business. Witnesses in that area saw a distinctive, older model Honda Civic with matte black paint and no front grill cut off other vehicles as it left that plaza, turned left, and sped away southbound on Route 136 toward the Rhode Island state line before officers arrived on scene. Detectives also obtained surveillance video from the Swansea County Club, which showed the same Honda Civic heading northbound on Route 136 toward the CVS in the moments leading up to the robbery and heading southbound following it. The video showed that the Honda Civic had a missing passenger side front hubcap and missing passenger side mirror.

On the next day, Warren, RI Police located the Honda Civic. Webster, who was the driver of that vehicle, refused to stop and led police on a high-speed pursuit. Wbester pulled into the driveway at 10 Deer Run Road in Bristol, RI, where he led police on a brief foot chase until he was arrested. Webster matched the description of the man in the videos, and he had a diamond tattoo on the back of his left hand. Detectives executed a search warrant for Webster’s residence, where they found articles of clothing matching the ones shown in the videos.

After posting bail on the Swansea case, the defendant then committed the armed assault with intent to rob in Seekonk on April 25, 2020. On that date, just before 2:30 a.m., Seekonk Police received a silent alarm for a report of a robbery at the Crossroads Convenience Store on Fall River Avenue. Officers learned that the suspect entered the store while wearing a surgical mask. He walked to the register and told the store clerk, “I’m going to need you to empty the register. I have a firearm and I’m not afraid to use it.” The victim hit the silent alarm, and the defendant fled the store. The victim reported that Webster left in a light blue Hyundai Sonata. After reviewing store surveillance footage, detectives learned that the Hyundai Sonata drove directly to the store from the Motel 6 parking lot located across the street. They also learned that the suspect wore a distinctive, multi-colored zip-up, long-sleeved hoodie with two color tones, as well as light blue jeans and black/white shoes with white laces.

In their follow-up investigation, detectives were able to positively identify Webster as the robber.

“This case highlights the importance of using surveillance and advanced investigative techniques, which led to the apprehension of the defendant for the violent robbery in Swansea,” District Attorney Quinn said. “Unfortunately, he was released and able to commit a second robbery in Seekonk. He has a past history of similar offenses and is a danger to the community.”

This defendant has previously served 18 months in jail for Assault and Battery on a Child with Injury in 2009 and also served two-and-a-half years in jail for committing an offense at a Bellingham CVS in 2014, which was strikingly similar to the Swansea offense. He has pending charges in Rhode Island relating to an East Providence robbery.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jose Vazquez and the state prison sentence was imposed by Judge Daniel O’Shea.

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