A Portland man with a handgun robbed a bank on Forest Avenue shortly before noon Monday but was arrested a short time later, police said.

The robbery at the Bangor Savings Bank branch at 883 Forest Ave. was the latest in a rash of eight bank robberies in the city since May and the second armed bank robbery this month.

Francis J. Ready, 58, entered the bank at 11:50 a.m. Monday armed with a handgun and demanding cash from tellers, Assistant Chief Vernon Malloch of the Portland police said in a statement.

No one was hurt in the robbery. There were no customers in the bank at the time, and Ready fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, Malloch said.

Patrol officers responding to the call took Ready into custody on Forest Avenue a short distance from the bank.

At a news conference on Sept. 29, Police Chief Michael Sauschuck announced that local and federal investigators had succeeded in arresting all those responsible for what at the time had been six bank robberies in Portland since May. He said then that there had already been 73 total robberies this year in the city compared with 51 in all of 2014, a 43 percent increase.

On Oct. 3, just days after Sauschuck’s announcement, a man with a scarf over his face held up the TD Bank branch at 1410 Congress St. by aiming a handgun at the heads of a customer and two tellers while demanding cash.

Police have yet to name any suspects in that holdup. The gunman was described as a white man in his 40s or 50s, 5-foot-9 to 5-foot-11, and weighing between 160 and 170 pounds.

Malloch did not return a phone message Monday night seeking further details about Ready’s arrest. Police have not said whether they consider Ready a possible suspect in the Oct. 3 robbery.

Ready is described in a Maine State Bureau of Identification database of criminal records as a white man, alternately 5-foot-10 and 5-foot-11, weighing 160 pounds, with brown hair, blue eyes and tattoos on his arms.

Ready has a criminal record dating back to 1976, when he was charged with felony theft. He was convicted of the charge in 1977 and served six months in jail. He was subsequently convicted of misdemeanor assault in 2006, of misdemeanor theft in 2007 and misdemeanor terrorizing in 2008, according to the database.

Police said the FBI has joined the investigation following Ready’s arrest Monday and that he will likely face a federal bank robbery charge.

Ready is being held at the Cumberland County Jail in Portland on a federal detainment order pending his appearance in U.S. District Court in Portland, according to jail staff.

Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: scottdolan