The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

October 8, 2012

Police: Bank robbery note sought $1

Sandra K Reabuck

NORTHERN CAMBRIA — A local man was lodged in the county prison after he attempted to rob the AmeriServ bank branch for $1 Friday in an apparent attempt to be charged with a federal crime and placed in the federal prison at Loretto.

Jeffery M. McMullen, 50, of the 700 block of Oak Street, is charged with three robbery offenses in the incident.

Two tellers thought it was a joke before a third bank employee handed him $1 and called police.

He was arraigned before District Judge Michael Zungali, who ordered that McMullen must have a mental exam before he can be released from prison. Bond was set at $50,000. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for today, but may be postponed.

Police Sgt. Isaac Hassen alleged in a sworn affidavit that McMullen entered the bank shortly before 1:30 p.m., went to a teller, took out paper and a pen and wrote a note demanding $1.

“He told her he would wait until police arrived,” Hassen said.

The teller, knowing McMullen as a regular customer, told him she didn’t understand what he wanted her to do, thinking it was a joke, the officer said. When the suspect told her it was a robbery, she told him to go to the next window, it was alleged.

The suspect then walked to the next window, where he got angry and demanded money, it’s alleged. The second teller also thought it was a joke, police said.

When the first teller asked him whether he wanted her to get the bank manager and started to walk away, he tried to reach into the teller’s money drawer, it was alleged. He also told her that he wanted the police to come.

The teller was told by the suspect “to give him the money so no one got hurt,” Hassen alleged.

The police alleged that McMullen also spoke with the new accounts employee and told her he was robbing the bank for $1.

She told police that she took $1 from her purse and gave it to him, the police officer said.

McMullen was taken into custody at the bank without incident.

In the note, McMullen allegedly wrote, “FBI custody. Preferbly (sic) Loretto Pa. No press. Seal all files.”

In another note, the polite robber also allegedly wrote, “Federal bank robbery. Please hand over $1.00.”

McMullen has no criminal record in Cambria County, according to online records. He has never been incarcerated at the county prison previously, Warden John Prebish said.

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