Did a Jimmy Fallon Joke Help Solve a Massachusetts Bingo Robbery?

Police may owe the Tonight Show host a thank-you.

Jimmy Fallon

Photo by Douglas Gorenstein / NBC

Police issued arrest warrants this week for three men who are believed to be behind a robbery at a Knights of Columbus bingo game last fall, and a joke about the theft by Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon may have led to the big break in the case.

According to Sentinel & Enterprise, Fitchburg residents Steven Nutting and Ruel Spence as well as Leominster resident James Newbrough were charged with unarmed robbery and larceny over $250 on Tuesday for their suspected involvement in the heist. The robbery occurred on October 22 when two masked men stole around $1,400 from a bingo game held at the Knights of Columbus hall on Lancaster Street.

While detectives were able to interview witnesses and look at surveillance footage during their lengthy investigation into the case, investigators claim that it was Fallon’s joke about the theft that ended up being the biggest help to solving the mystery.

Sentinel & Enterprise reports that a man arrested for a different robbery in Fitchburg on November 2 told police that he found out the names of the people behind the bingo capper after watching the late-night host’s monologue on October 29.

“Police in Massachusetts are looking for two men who stole $1,400 from a cash box at a bingo night,” Fallon said. “They say the men were last seen driving west on I-90.”

Apparently Newbrough told the Fitchburg theft suspect that he was one of the robbers whom Fallon was joking about, in addition to Spence and Nutting. According to investigators, the suspect also found out several details about the robbery from Newbrough.

The suspected bingo thieves have a bit of a history with local law enforcement.

According to Sentinel & Enterprise, Nutting is awaiting trial on a different theft charge and is being held at the Worcester House of Correction. Spence and Newbrough were charged earlier this month with armed robbery of a Cumberland Farms, however, it is unclear as to whether either man is currently in custody.