Contact: Beth Stone- (508) 584-8120
MIDDLEBORO – A 21-year-old man has been indicted on charges he robbed or attempted to rob several people of cash, and threatened some of the victims with a gun or a machete, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz announced today.
Frankie Bender (DOB: 1/26/95), whose last known address was Middleboro, was indicted by a Plymouth County Grand Jury on five counts each of Assault with Intent to Rob, Unarmed, and Unarmed Robbery. He was also indicted on one count each of Unarmed Robbery with a victim 60 years or older, Armed Assault with Intent to Rob, Assault and Battery, Indecent Assault and Battery of a Person over 14, Open and Gross Lewdness, Assault and Battery with a Deadly Weapon and Breaking and Entering in the Daytime.
At approximately 3 p.m., January 4, 2016, Bender embarked on a crime spree that spanned three towns in a matter of hours, beginning in Middleboro and Carver and leading on to Kingston.
In Carver, at approximately 3:30 pm, Bender approached a woman and her child in their car at the Lady of Lourdes Church. The victim told police Bender pulled up to her car and began talking to her daughter, demanding they give him money or he would hurt the girl. The victim gave him $20 and Bender left. A short time later, an employee of Geko Gas Station on Main Street in Carver told police Bender demanded he give him money. The employee locked himself in the gas station and phoned police while Bender took off.
Later that afternoon in Middleboro, Bender committed various criminal acts in the area of East Grove Street. One victim reported to police that he was in the area of Nichols Middle School when Bender reached into his pockets and attempted to rob him. Bender ripped the victim’s pocket and he was able escape. Bender moved on to approach a group of young men in the same area. Bender first demanded $5 from one youth by placing his arm around him before attempting to steal his cell phone and telling the boys he had a gun in his car. Bender put one boy in a headlock and demanded money from several of the other boys with threats that Bender would hurt them. Bender stole $6 from the young men before he drove off to Cumberland Farms on East Grove Street. There, Bender approached a 69-year-old man who was putting air in his tires when Bender approached him and demanded his money. The man gave Bender $42 in cash and Bender fled.
As Middleboro Police continued to search for Bender and his vehicle, a call came in for a robbery at Capeway Convenience. The clerk stated she was in the parking lot when Bender pulled up in his vehicle, demanded money and told her he would slash her tires. Bender entered the clerk’s vehicle as she got out. The clerk locked herself inside the store and Bender took an Energy drink from the vehicle and returned to his own car and left.
Another man in Middleboro reported to police that Bender approached him, put him in a choke hold, and turned out his pockets. Bender stole a pack of gum earphones and an e-cigarette from the man.
Bender continued on to the Kingston Collection at approximately 4:45 pm, where he attacked several people in the parking lot. He approached one man and threatened to cut him with a machete if he didn’t give Bender money. Bender also approached a woman and exposed himself to her. He also approached a couple, demanded money before taking the man’s cell phone and hitting him with a closed fist. As the man lay on the ground, Bender kicked him.
Police were able to trace Bender’s cell phone and located him parked in his Chevrolet at the Holiday Inn in Middleboro where he was taken into custody.
Bender will be scheduled for arraignment at a later date.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Shanan Buckingham and was investigated by Police departments in Carver, Middleboro and Kington investigated.