Police charge man with bank robberies, burglaries

A North Providence man was arrested and charged with robbing two banks and burglarizing nearly two dozen homes.

Col. Steven O'Donnell said Friday that police charged 57-year-old Michael Rossi with 22 counts of breaking and entering, 10 counts of larceny and weapons violations.

Police said Rossi was involved in the robberies of a Sovereign Bank and a Bank Rhode Island last summer in Providence and as many as 23 different home burglaries in seven different Rhode Island communities.

"This won't end at 23 breaks," O'Donnell said. "The investigation continues."

Police also arrested 48-year-old Leonard Dias of Pawtucket, who they said participated in both bank robberies. A third man, 45-year-old Dino Gomes of Providence, was arrested in connection with the Bank Rhode Island robbery.

"These are professional criminals that figure out every way they can to basically terrorize other people," O'Donnell said.

Police said they found watches, jewelry and other items stolen from the home invasions when they arrested Rossi and Dias. Troopers said the men pawned the items to support a drug habit.

"Most of these defendants are heavy heroin users, and the quest to obtain money to sustain their habit is part of their motivation for breaking into houses," O'Donnell said.

The men were being held. It was unclear if they are yet represented by attorneys.

NBC 10 News contributed to this report.