Man suspected in 9 armed robberies held without bail

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Providence man charged with six holdups and is suspected of three other robberies will be staying behind bars for the time being.

Willie Rathbone, 35, was ordered held without bail at his arraignment Thursday afternoon.

Rathbone was taken into custody Wednesday after police said they matched his fingerprints from one of the robbery scenes. According to Providence police Maj. David Lapatin, a SWAT team had to be sent to an Elmwood Avenue apartment to make the arrest.

Lapatin said each of the suspected robberies occurred in Providence during the last week-and-a-half.

“He was really on a rampage,” Lapatin said Wednesday. “And we had to stop him.”

Police said Rathbone is a Level 2 sex offender with an extensive criminal history. Rathbone’s case will now head to Superior Court.