Swansea Armed Robber Sentenced to Five Years in Prison
SWANSEA — A 39-year-old man from Bristol, Rhode Island who committed two armed robberies in Seekonk and Swansea in 2020 — one while out on bail — has been sentenced to serve five years in state prison.
The Bristol County District Attorney's Office said Niles Webster pleaded guilty to indictments charging him with armed robbery and armed assault with intent to rob for the two incidents, which took place in February and April 2020.
Webster has previously served over a year in jail for assault and battery on a child with injury in 2009 and also served over two years in jail for a robbery-related offense at a Bellingham CVS in 2014, according to the D.A.'s office.
He also has charges pending in Rhode Island connected to a robbery in East Providence.
At around 10:32 a.m. on Feb. 4, 2020, Swansea police were called to a reported armed robbery at the GAR Highway CVS Pharmacy.
The suspect, later identified as Webster, approached a register and told the store clerk "I have a gun and I'm going to shoot you" before demanding all the cash in the register.
The cashier gave him $140 cash in a CVS bag before he fled.
Detectives saw on surveillance video footage that the suspect had a tattoo on the back of his left hand.
Multiple surveillance videos also showed a distinctive matte black Honda with missing parts — including a hubcap and a side mirror — heading towards the CVS before the robbery and away from the store afterwards.
Police in Warren, Rhode Island found the same Honda, but instead of stopping, the driver led police on a high-speed chase and then a foot chase before he was caught and identified as Webster.
After posting bail, Webster then tried to rob a convenience store in Seekonk, according to the D.A.'s office.
At around 2:22 a.m. on April 25, 2020, Seekonk police responded to a silent alarm for a robbery at the Crossroads Convenience Store on Fall River Avenue.
According to the office, Webster wore a surgical mask and told the store clerk to empty the register, adding "I have a firearm and I'm not afraid to use it."
The clerk hit the silent alarm and Webster fled in a light blue car.
Police were able to identify Webster as the robber during their investigation.
"This case highlights the importance of using surveillance and advanced investigative techniques, which led to the apprehension of the defendant for the violent robbery in Swansea," Bristol District Attorney Thomas Quinn said.
"Unfortunately, he was released and able to commit a second robbery in Seekonk," he added. "He has a past history of similar offenses and is a danger to the community."