Police: Burke Gambled $6,000 from Bank Robberies
Timothy Burke, who was ordered held on $100,000 cash bail this morning, was in Las Vegas for a week before he decided to turn himself into Portsmouth Police on Wednesday night.
Timothy Burke didn't waste much time getting out of New Hampshire after police say he robbed the same bank on Nov. 4. that he robbed six days earlier.
He boarded a C&J Trailways bus at the Pease International Airport Transportation Center that same day and headed to Las Vegas, Nev., where he reportedly gambled away some of the $6,000 he allegedly robbed from the People's United Bank Islington Street on Nov. 4 and Oct. 29.
This morning, Portsmouth District Court Judge Sawato Gardner ordered Burke held on $100,000 cash bail after he turned himself into Portsmouth Police on Wednesday around 10 p.m.
"It was a surprise," said Portsmouth Police Capt. Corey MacDonald following Burke's arraignment. He said Portsmouth Police put pressure on Burke after they issued an arrest warrant for him on Nov. 11 and MacDonald said Burke became aware that police had identified him as the bank robbery suspect.
He would not say if police or federal U.S. Marshals contacted Burke, but MacDonald said Burke agreed to return to New Hampshire on his own and face the charges after he had some contact with an undisclosed source.
MacDonald would not say if Burke has a heroin addiction or if his drug use made him decide to rob the bank twice. But MacDonald did say the Seacoast is seeing a rise in heroin use and an increase in burglaries and thefts that is being fueled by the increase in drug use.
Portsmouth Police Prosecutor David Colby requested the high cash bail because of the two felony counts of armed robbery Burke faces for the two bank robberies and his preview arrest on Oct. 16 for a class A felony of possession of heroin and a class A misdemeanor for possession of marijuana.
Colby also said Burke, 29 of 55 Columbia Street, Apt. 3. in Portsmouth, has a lengthy record of motor vehicle offenses and other drug charges and has disregarded previous court orders.
"He does not have a regard for orders or rules," Colby said.
Colby said Burke also gave People's United Bank tellers the distinct impression he was armed with a weapon when he demanded cash from them on Oct. 29 and Nov. 4 because of the way he gestured with his right hand in his jacket pocket.
Regardless if Burke had a firearm or weapon, MacDonald said he was charged with armed robbery because he made the victims believe he was armed.
According to the affidavit filed by Portsmouth Police Det. Sgt. David Keaveny, Burkey allegedly robbed $2,280 when he robbed the bank on Oct. 29 and then robbed another $3,260 when he returned to the same bank on Nov. 4.
Police developed Burke as their prime suspect based on the video surveillance taken of him at the bank and learned he lived practically right across the street from the bank on Columbia Street behind the Bread Box restaurant.
A family member also contacted Police and said they felt Burke was the person in the surveillance photos published by the media. When police executed a search warrant, they found a pair of aviator sunglasses, a black knit North Face hat, gray sweatpants and a red-zip jacket worn at the time of the second bank robbery.
Burke is scheduled to return to Portsmouth District Court for a probable cause hearing on Nov. 29 at 8:30 a.m.