Originally posted at 12:01 p.m. Updated with surveillance photo. Updated at 2:45 p.m. with statement from Mass State Police.
CAMBRIDGE – The fugitive who escaped from a federal prison in Rhode Island on New Year’s Eve, may have tried to rob a bank in Cambridge today, January 5.
Cambridge Police said a man, fitting the description of James Morales, passed a note at the Bank of America in Central Square at 7:27 a.m. The note said he wanted money, but the suspect left the bank with no money.
This afternoon, just after 2:30 p.m. Massachusetts State Police said “federal, state and local police agencies are seeking the public’s assistance to identify the individual who attempted to rob the Bank of America, located at 772 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, Massachusetts earlier this morning.”
“Mass State Police said the “attempted bank robbery suspect resembles escaped fugitive JAMES MORALES, but law enforcement officials have not definitively confirmed it was him yet. The intensive investigation into this morning’s attempted robbery and MORALES escape is ongoing.”
This morning’s suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’10”, with a mustache. He was wearing a black jacket with a grey sweatshirt, black knit cap, a scarf, and black sneakers.
The U. S. Marshals are in charge of capturing any escaped prisoner from a federal facility.
Yesterday, Framingham Selectmen & Police issued a statement. “It’s been three days since Mr. Morales was seen in Framingham. At this time the Framingham Police have no reason to believe that the fugitive is still in town; but we also have no proof that he is not. Residents are advised to remain vigilant and to report anything suspicious to our department immediately. The suspect is believed to be armed and dangerous.” stated Acting Police Chief Steve Trask.
Morales, who was arrested in 2015 for on charges of stealing weapons from an Armory in Worcester, was being held in the Wyatt Correctional Center in Rhode Island. Morales is a former U.S. Army reservist.
Framingham Police Lt. Steve Cronin said a Framingham Police Officer believed he saw Morales in a vehicle on Hollis Street on Sunday. The vehicle headed towards Ashland and was not found. A vehicle, authorities believe the fugitive stole in Attlebor0, was found on Gordon Street in Framingham on Sunday, also. Blood was found inside that vehicle.
Authorities also searched a home on Irving Street, where Morales’ ex-girlfriend lived with her two children. The three individuals were later placed into protective custody.
Lt. Cronin said surveillance video from a convenience store at the intersection of Route 135 and 126 also captured the fugitive on Sunday.
Morales is considered “extremely dangerous.” He may be armed.
The public is asked to call a new confidential phone tip line if he is seen 1-800-336-0102.med.
He is described as 6 feet, 175 lbs, with brown skin and black hair. He has three tattoos: A crown with the name “Sherrelle” on his left hand, the word “KING” on his right hand and an eagle on the left side of his neck.
Surveillance photo from the bank