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Police seek bank robber; Local veteran was in the branch

The driver of this car evaded police after robbing a bank in Lackawaxen, PA.

By Fritz Mayer
June 3, 2016

Pennsylvania State Police are seeking a man who robbed the Honesdale National Bank, located at 180 Scenic Drive, in Lackawaxen on June 1, 2016 at approximately 10:30 a.m.

The suspect is described as a white male wearing a mask, approximately 5’7”, dark colored hair and eyes. The suspect brandished what police say is an unknown firearm.

Peter Carmeci Sr., the commander of the Tusten Highland Lumberland VFW Post, said he was the only customer in the bank when the incident occurred. He said after entering the bank, the robber jammed a tree branch in between the two glass doors to ensure that they remained open and he could leave after he got the money he came for.

Carmeci said he, the teller and the manager were the only people in the bank, and Carmeci had just made a large withdrawal of cash. Carmeci stuffed the cash in his pocket seconds before the robber pointed a gun at him and told him to move through the door that separated the customers from the teller.

Carmeci told the gunman he couldn’t do that because the half door was locked, so the gunman ordered him to a different part of the room. Carmeci said at a couple of points he considered “rushing” the robber but he was concerned that the teller or the manager would be shot.

He said the gun the robber wielded had a very long barrel and he thought it might have been a .22 caliber pistol. The robber demanded the female teller give him a bag, and fill it with cash. She complied, grabbing a large handful of bills and stuffing them into a bag.

Carmeci said that people on the street outside were looking in as the robbery was taking place, and his thought was that one of them should remove the sheets or coverings that the robber had placed on his vehicle to avoid being identified. Carmeci said the front and rear of the vehicle were covered, and assumed that was meant to hide the license plates; because there were two coverings, he assumed the vehicle was from New York or New Jersey rather than Pennsylvania.

State police say, “The suspect fled in an older model black car. This investigation is in the early stages and as more information becomes available, it will be released. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Pennsylvania State Police in Blooming Grove at 570-226-5718.”