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Mass. man gets 30 months for robberies in NH, Mass.

CONCORD — A Wilmington, Mass., man accused of robbing a bank inside a grocery store in Salem has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for that robbery and three holdups in Massachusetts.

Joseph Costello, 27, was accused of a July 2, 2012, robbery in Salem in which police said he entered a Shaw’s supermarket and passed a note to the teller at an in-store Citizens Bank.

Assistant United States Attorney Seth Aframe said the robber used the same technique in holdups in Chelmsford, Reading and North Andover, Mass.

A note would be handed to the teller or store employee saying a bomb had been placed in the building and would be detonated by a third party unless Costello was provided with money.

In all, three banks and a supermarket were robbed.

Police said at the time of the Salem robbery that a dye pack in the money bag exploded as Costello carried it from the store, causing him to run off without the money. A police dog tracked him to a nearby convenience store parking lot, but the trail ended there.

The case was broken when detectives used a physical description, surveillance photos and tips, police said.

Costello, a veteran of military service in Afghanistan, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Concord.


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