Colonel Steven G. O'Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, announces the arrest of Monchi Castillo, age 23 of 17 Montpellier Street, 3rd Floor, Springfield, Massachusetts on charges related to robberies in Cranston and Coventry, Rhode Island.
The Rhode Island State Police, Coventry Police, West Greenwich Police, Cranston Police and Warwick Police are actively attempting to locate a second suspect who is alleged to have assisted Castillo with the commission of two robberies of convenience stores during the early morning hours of January 4, 2014.
At approximately 12:40 a.m., two suspects armed with handguns robbed the Shell gas station located at 1207 Pontiac Avenue in the City of Cranston. At approximately 1:40 a.m., the X-tra Mart convenience store located at 851 Tiogue Avenue in the Town of Coventry was robbed by two individuals matching the description of the suspects from the earlier robbery. A description of the suspect vehicle was provided by the witnesses and broadcast to surrounding police departments. Shortly after the second robbery, officers from the Coventry Police Department and West Greenwich Police departments attempted to stop a vehicle matching the description provided by the witnesses. The suspect vehicle fled from the area after a brief motor vehicle pursuit. A short time later, State Troopers observed the vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed on Route 95 before the operator lost control on the exit ramp to Route 117 in the city of Warwick, at which time both occupants fled into the woods. A handgun was recovered from inside the vehicle.
At 7:30 a.m., the Warwick Police Department received a report of a suspicious person matching the description of one of the suspects at the Dunkin Donuts located at 1016 Centerville Road in the City of Warwick. Members of the State Police and Warwick Police Department identified the suspicious person as Monchi Castillo and arrested him without incident.
Castillo was later arraigned at State Police Headquarters on the following charges:
1. First Degree Robbery
2. Conspiracy to commit First Degree Robbery
3. Second Degree Robbery
4. Conspiracy to commit Second Degree Robbery
5. Carrying Dangerous Weapon when Committing a Crime of Violence, and
6. Possession of Firearms by Criminals and Fugitives.
Justice of the Peace Richard Raspallo ordered Castillo held without bail pending a formal arraignment in Third Division District Court on Monday, January 6, 2014.
The investigation into the aforementioned robberies is ongoing and involves the Rhode Island State Police Detective Bureau, police departments from multiple jurisdictions in Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office. The same suspects are believed to have committed similar robberies in Uxbridge and Grafton, Massachusetts. Detectives from the Massachusetts State Police and local police departments In Massachusetts have also joined this coordinated investigative effort.
The second suspect remains at large and may be armed. He is described as approximately 5'10" and was last seen wearing a black down jacket with the "North Face" logo, light grey or brown pants (possibly sweat pants) and brown shoes. Anyone with information that may assist in this investigation should call Detective Corporal William Accardi at (401) 444-1178.
The penalty for first degree robbery is imprisonment for not less than ten (10) years and may be imprisoned for life, or a fine of not more than fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000), or both. The penalty for second degree robbery is imprisonment for not less than five (5) years nor more than thirty (30) years, or a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or both.
Photographs of the suspect at large were taken from surveillance cameras at the Shell gas station and provided by the Cranston Police Department. They can be viewed on the Rhode Island State Police website by clicking the link below.
MEDIA CONTACT: Major Todd E. Catlow, Detective Commander, Rhode Island State Police, (401) 444-1006