PROVIDENCE, RI – A man who allegedly stole a car in New Bedford, Mass., and used it a couple of hours later as a getaway vehicle after allegedly robbing a bank in Tiverton, R.I., was ordered detained in federal custody on Tuesday following his initial appearance in U.S. District Court on a federal criminal complaint charging him with bank robbery.

According to court records, it is alleged that on April 2, 2018, Cody Toolis, 27, stole a vehicle from the home of a New Bedford woman who had the left vehicle running outside her home.

Later that morning, at approximately 9:15 AM, it is alleged that Toolis entered a branch office of Bank Newport in Tiverton and handed a note to a teller that read, “Do not move, I have a gun, need $500 in 20’s, I am desperate.” The teller, who told police that the robber was rushing her, reported that she gave the robber $460, after which time he fled the bank. The robber, who took the note with him, did not show a gun. A witness told police she saw the robber leave the bank parking lot in a vehicle that police determined fit the description of the vehicle stolen in New Bedford.

As part of the investigation, Tiverton Police posted a still-photograph taken from bank surveillance video of the robber. Various tips from the public and other police departments identified the person in the photograph by name as Cody Toolis. Toolis was also identified as being wanted by the Dartmouth Police Department in connection with the alleged felony purse snatching from a 76-year-old woman a few days earlier.

According to court documents, sometime after the bank robbery, it is alleged that Toolis contacted a former girlfriend and ask that she help him turn himself in to police. During an interview with an FBI agent, the former girlfriend told the agent that on March 3, 2018, Toolis allegedly entered her residence without permission and removed an XBox belonging to a roommate, and that Toolis tried to pawn it at a New Bedford pawn shop. New Bedford Police provided law enforcement investigating the bank robbery a photo of Toolis from a Massachusetts driver’s license shown when he attempted to pawn the XBox.

On April 9, 2018, Toolis walked into the Bristol, R.I., Police Department and turned himself in to police. Toolis was arrested on a bank robbery charge and ordered detained at the Adult Correctional Institutions. On that same date, Fall River Police recovered the New Bedford woman’s stolen vehicle.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Toolis’ arrest and detention are announced by United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch, Tiverton Police Chief Patrick W. Jones, and Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division.

United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch acknowledges and thanks the Fall River and New Bedford, Mass., Police Departments, the Bristol Police Department and the Rhode Island Department of Attorney General for their assistance in the investigation and preparation of this case for prosecution in U.S. District Court.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Denise M. Barton.

Bank robbery is punishable by statutory penalties of up to 20 years imprisonment, 3 years supervised release and a fine of $250,000.

-U.S. Attorney's Office, Rhode Island

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