BOSTON — A New Bedford man with a prior bank robbery conviction pleaded guilty on Thursday to a Dartmouth bank robbery in July 2021 that took place while he was on probation for the first offense.

David Frates, 43, admitted to robbing the Bristol County Savings Bank branch on State Road in Dartmouth on July 19 last year, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Frates had gone into the branch and demanded $20,000 from a bank teller, threatening to stab a different teller if his demands were not met.

He produced a long-handled knife and repeatedly hit it on the teller’s counter, stating that he was going to stab them, the office noted.

WBSM-AM/AM 1420 logo
Get our free mobile app

After the teller handed him $20,000 from the bank’s vault, Frates left.

But a Dartmouth police investigation identified him as the robber, and he was arrested just two days after the robbery, on July 21, 2021.

He had more than $9,000 in cash at the time of his arrest.

Frates had previously been convicted in 2014 on federal bank robbery charges for the armed robbery of a St. Anne’s Credit Union branch in New Bedford.

In that robbery, which took place in September 2013, he entered the bank wearing a mask and carrying what appeared to be a semi-automatic firearm before demanding money.

The firearm was later found to be a black BB gun.


Frates received a sentence of 11 years in prison, but his prison term was reduced in May 2020 to less than seven years, based partly on changes in federal sentencing guidelines.

He faces up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.


Sentencing is scheduled for July 13, 2022.

Festivals That Should Make an Appearance on the SouthCoast This Summer

A Pirate Festival is coming to Yarmouth this summer, so that got Michael and Maddie thinking. What other unique festivals would we love to see happen?

We Need These Performers at the Portuguese Feast

Every year, the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament, also known as The Feast, has live entertainment and every year we wonder what these acts have to do with Portuguese culture, even though they're great. Here are some ideas of who we think would be a nice fit. Do you have any suggestions?

More From WBSM-AM/AM 1420