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By Gilbert B. Arbuckle
GateHouse News Service
Posted Nov 02, 2008 @ 08:22 AM

A bank robber was captured at gun point after a five-car police chase on Friday following the second holdup of the month at the Colonial Savings Bank at South Franklin and South streets.
Making a routine patrol shortly before 11 a.m., officer Joshua A. Knowlton noticed a truck parked in the same place a suspicious car had been parked during the previous robbery. He checked the license plate from his cruiser, but it came back clean.
Minutes later, dispatch radioed that the Colonial Savings Bank had just been robbed by an armed man seen fleeing on foot toward South Street.
Knowlton reversed direction and sped toward the bank with lights flashing. Scrutinizing the oncoming traffic, he saw a vehicle that looked like the truck he had just checked out.
He made a U-turn and began to close on it but it turned off onto Beech Road and accelerated.
"That's where the pursuit began," said Knowlton. Trying to shake him, the truck sped through the side streets in the Grove area, then back onto South Street heading toward Randolph.
"I never lost sight of him," said Knowlton. Holbrook dispatch radioed Randolph and Braintree police of a pursuit coming their way. Two unmarked Randolph police cars and a cruiser crossed into Holbrook and Holbrook officer Joseph Salvucci sped toward the action down Union Street.
With the chase approaching the MBTA station at Center and Union streets where traffic would be heavy, he decided to force a confrontation, Knowlton said.
Just before that intersection, Knowlton swung in front of the truck and boxed it in. The driver accelerated and crashed into his cruiser in an attempt to break out, Knowlton said.
Uninjured, Knowlton got out and with gun drawn and joined by Randolph officers, also with guns drawn, ordered the driver out.
Arrested was Michael A. Siteman, 33, of 23 Washington Circle, Holbrook. Taped to the inside of his fleece jacket was a BB handgun and he had an envelope containing cash, Knowlton said.
Siteman was charged with armed robbery; possession of a deadly weapon; speeding; failing to stop for a police officer and two stop signs; assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, a car; and operating to endanger.
He was held in lieu of $10,000 bail and will be arraigned in Quincy district court on Monday.
"It's rare to catch a bank robber. Everyone is glad," Knowlton said. "The tellers were excited and very relieved to know we caught him."
Tellers told police the man who robbed the bank Friday looked like the one who had robbed it on Oct 16. He was also pictured clearly in both incidents on the bank's surveillance tape.
Knowlton credited Randolph and Braintree police for being "always ready" with mutual aid.
"It was good, alert police work on the part of Officer Knowlton," said Selectman Richard B. McGaughey.
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