By Dave Rogers
---- — SALISBURY — A local man accused of robbing the Institution for Savings in Salisbury Square Friday will remain behind bars for now, after police showed that just before they nabbed him, he had packed his bags and was about to flee to New York with the stolen cash.
At his arraignment yesterday, Andrew S. Bayko, 53, of 100 Beach Road, No. 4, was denied bail and will have to go before the judge again on June 21 for a dangerousness hearing. At that hearing, a judge will determine whether it is in the public’s best interest that Bayko remain in jail until his trial.
Bayko was arrested Saturday morning at his cabin behind the Hungry Traveler restaurant thanks to a tip from a Daily News of Newburyport delivery contractor who spotted a white truck matching the description of the suspect’s vehicle based on a story in the newspaper he was delivering. Bayko had lived there for at least five weeks and used some of the estimated $6,693 he allegedly stole from the bank to pay his rent, of which he was two weeks behind.
Upon learning Bayko had an outstanding warrant for his arrest issued by state police based on an OUI charge, officer Richard Dellaria visited Bayko’s cabin and arrested him minutes before a taxi arrived. Bayko had made arrangements for the cab to drive him to the Newburyport Park and Ride in Newburyport. Bayko, who had with him two canvas bags, at least one of which contained thousands of dollars, told police he was heading to New York, according to court documents.
Police gained a search warrant for Bayko’s cabin and there found evidence that linked him to the robbery. A pair of blue gloves was found inside a vat of grease behind the restaurant and clothes matching the kind he wore when he allegedly robbed the bank were discovered in a black plastic bag inside a nearby Dumpster. Police also obtained video footage from inside the restaurant which showed him sitting at the bar less than an hour after the robbery. Witnesses told police that Bayko watched at least some of the Bruins playoff game later that evening, according to court documents.
He was charged with armed and masked robbery, use/possession of a hoax device and a previous warrant.
Bayko’s bank robbery caused a major headache for Friday evening commuters, because a phony “bomb” he left behind resulted in the shutting down of Salisbury Square and a portion of busy Route 1.
About 5:10 p.m. on Friday, police responded to the Institution for Savings after Bayko, dressed all in black and wearing a black mask and blue gloves, allegedly brought a package into the bank and told a teller, “I have a bomb here, give me some money.”
After receiving the cash, Bayko left the package inside the bank and fled in a white Dodge Ram pickup truck. The truck was last seen heading northbound up North End Boulevard toward Seabrook and Hampton.
As the state police bomb unit investigated the package, the bank and nearby businesses were evacuated. Police also closed off streets around Salisbury Square, causing significant traffic jams around the heavily traveled area during the height of the evening commute.
About 7:30 p.m., police reported the package was harmless and the square was reopened around 8 p.m. Aiding local police were units from Amesbury, Newburyport, Seabrook and the state police.