Amherst Bank of America robbery suspect in custody

By Sam Butterfield

Bank of America (Hannah Cohen/Collegian)

Amherst police have made an arrest in the Monday morning robbery of a downtown Bank of America branch. Police responded to a 10:54 a.m. call from bank employees at the 1 South Pleasant Street branch stating that a male had recently entered the bank and handed staff a note stating that the bank was being robbed and demanding an undisclosed amount of money, according to a release from Amherst Police Department Lieutenant Ronald Young.

The suspect did not appear to have a weapon, the release stated, but employees complied and gave him an unspecified amount of cash.

According to reports, the suspect then entered a waiting taxi cab and fled the scene.

Officers responding to the call then spotted a taxi on West Street in South Amherst near Bay Road, according to Young’s release, and found the 24-year-old William W.  Oldershaw, who resides at 42 Amherst Road in Sunderland, inside.

An earlier report in the Daily Hampshire Gazette stated police scanners had indicated the suspect fled in a gray or brown minivan reportedly being driven by a woman. A gold Chevrolet minivan matching that description could be seen late Monday afternoon about 20 feet off the northbound side of West Street, also known as Route 116, opposite Hampshire College, with several officers around the vehicle analyzing the scene.

The bank remained closed throughout the day Monday, as APD Chief Scott Livingstone stood outside the branch informing customers it would be closed. An APD officer also stood guard in front of the bank throughout the early afternoon, while several police cruisers could be spotted parked on South Pleasant Street downtown.

According to Young’s release, Oldershaw will be held at the Hampshire County House of Corrections in Northampton in lieu of $2,500 cash bail. He will likely be arraigned this morning at the Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown on a charge of unarmed robbery. According to Massachusetts criminal sentencing guidelines, that charge can carry a sentence of 12 to 36 months.

Sam Butterfield can be reached at [email protected]