Alleged bank robber back in court

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BRATTLEBORO — A Rockingham woman accused of robbing a bank in Brattleboro in January was back in court Friday after she was found riding in a stolen car on Route 106 in Springfield.

According to an affidavit filed by Springfield Police Sgt. Gregory Molgano, dispatch received a report of a vehicle being driven erratically at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday. Following a traffic stop, Garrett Aither, 18, and his passenger, Angel Baker, 17, were placed in handcuffs for being in possession of stolen property.

On Jan. 18, Baker was caught on surveillance video walking into Citizens Bank on Putney Road with a note that read "This is a robbery. I have a gun. Give me $5,000." She left with more than $2,500.

After posting stills on social media, the Brattleboro Police Department received several tips and the next day arrested Baker and her then-boyfriend, Jack Burke, 18, of Rockingham. Burke was charged with three counts of aiding in the commission of a felony and Baker, who was 17 at the time, was charged with assault and robbery with a weapon, grand larceny and larceny from a person.

During the traffic stop on Thursday night, officers searched the vehicle, finding a 4.5mm CO2 powered BB handgun in the driver's door pocket. "The gun looked like a real firearm," wrote Molgano. Upon conducting a records check on Aither and Baker, officers discovered Baker had several conditions of release, including she live with her mother in Windham County and not leave the county or "be in the possession of any dangerous or deadly weapons."

Springfield is located in Windsor County.

After Baker waived her Miranda Rights, she told officers that she had been kicked out of her mother's house. Baker told police earlier that night "she and Aither were going to stay at his mother's house or take his mother's car."

Aither picked up Baker in his mother's car, later reported as stolen, and purchased the BB gun at a local Walmart.

"I told Baker that I suspected that they probably purchased the gun to commit a robbery, given that they were in a stolen car and reportedly had no money," wrote Molgano. "Baker expressed that she understood why I thought that. She further shared that she had previously tried to rob a bank with a BB gun."

Molgano wrote that "Given the crimes that Baker has been previously charged with, her presence inside a stolen car that contained a BB handgun and a bandanna is concerning and leads me to believe that further robberies may have been imminent," especially considering both Baker and Aither at the time of their arrests were wearing "matching bandit shirts" that portrayed a woman's face partially concealed by a bandanna.

Judge Michael Kainen ordered Baker held on $2,500 bail, noting he would suspend the bail if she was admitted to the Brattleboro Retreat for treatment.

Bob Audette can be contacted at 802-254-2311, ext. 151, or raudette@reformer.com.

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