A TD Bank branch in Harvard Square was robbed on Monday afternoon for the third time in the past month.
Cambridge police arrested Jacob Pimentel, 31, of Boston, who allegedly passed a note to the cashier asking for money around 4:43 p.m. Monday, according to CPD spokesman Jeremy C. Warnick. Officers apprehended Pimentel, who was unarmed, outside Harvard’s Smith Campus Center.
Pimentel was arrested by several officers who had guns in their hands as they attempted to flee the scene in a taxi. The suspect held his hands out of the car window as officers surrounded the vehicle on foot, according to video of the arrest provided by an eyewitness. One officer retrieved a stack of banknotes from Pimentel’s left hand, while another opened the taxi door.
Pimentel is expected to be charged with bare-knuckle theft and arraigned later in the week, Warnick said.
Anna Y. Gong ’23, an eyewitness, said she and a friend saw the incident after returning from Kung Fu Tea, describing it as a “stressful” experience.
“I heard screams, and we turned around and other people were turning around too, and we saw police with guns pointed at his taxi window,” Gong said. “It was very action-packed.”
Prior to Monday, this TD Bank location had been burglarized twice in the past month – once on April 27 and once on May 2. According to Warnick, Pimentel is not a suspect in the other two incidents. The CPD has issued an arrest warrant for another person in connection with one of the previous thefts.
The theft came amid a spike in thefts in Cambridge in the first 17 weeks of 2022. According to the city’s monthly crime report, there were 36 thefts between January and May 2, more than the double the figure at that time in 2021. In addition to the three TD Bank robberies, another Cambridge site was hit in February, Webster Bank in Brattle Square.
Ryan K. Hong ’23, who witnessed the arrest from outside the Smith Center, said he was “a bit shocked” by the incident.
“Harvard Square is a pretty safe place,” Hong said. “Interesting enough that this happens right at an intersection, probably the busiest crosswalk for Harvard students.”