Richard Duest

Police have not ruled out a federal fugitive who was arrested over the weekend in Buxton as a possible suspect in the recent string of armed robberies at nine businesses in southern Maine.

Richard L. Duest, 28, of Malden, Massachusetts, was arrested Saturday on a nationwide extradition warrant – charging him with unarmed bank robbery – that had been issued by the U.S. Probation Department in Boston.

Duest, who has a distinctive neck tattoo and tattoo spots below both of his eyes, was charged with being a fugitive from justice and providing a false name to law enforcement. He was transported to the York County Jail, where he was held until Monday morning, when the U.S. Marshals Service picked him up and transported him to authorities in Massachusetts.

Duest was questioned by a Maine State Police trooper during a traffic stop on Friday in Hollis before he was arrested on Saturday and sent to jail.

The last armed robbery in the string of robberies took place on Thursday at the China Eatery restaurant in Old Orchard Beach. There have not been any more armed robberies since Duest came into contact with police.

Lt. Robert Martin, spokesman for the Portland Police Department, was asked if Duest, given his criminal record, was a suspect in the armed robberies.


“I am familiar with his arrest, but we have not connected him with anything local at this time,” Martin said in an email Sunday night.

On Monday night, Martin said there were no new developments to report in the armed robbery investigation, but he indicated that Duest is a possible suspect.

“We have not ruled him out,” Martin said in an email.

The state police trooper, Cpl. Doug Cropper, arrested Duest in Buxton on Saturday after he had pulled over a vehicle Duest was riding in Friday. Cropper was subsequently able to identify Duest as a fugitive from justice due to “the multiple visible tattoos” he had observed during the traffic stop.

In his booking photograph, which is posted on the Maine State Police Facebook page, Duest can be seen standing next to a measuring stick. He is about 5 feet 9 inches tall.

Victims in the armed robberies said the robber was between 5 feet 5 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall. In all of the robberies, the suspect wore clothing that covered his neck, arms, and face.

The FBI on Saturday released a compilation of video surveillance footage that focused on specific articles of clothing that the man wore during each robbery.

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