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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • French arraigned for robbing bank

  • Accused bank robber Steven R. French, 48 of Dover, N.J., was arraigned in the Wayne County Courthouse Tuesday afternoon by Judge Raymond Hamill.
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  • Accused bank robber Steven R. French, 48 of Dover, N.J., was arraigned in the Wayne County Courthouse Tuesday afternoon by Judge Raymond Hamill.
    On March 1 the Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards and the Honesdale Borough Police Department announced the charging and arrest of French for the robbery of the Citizens Bank in Honesdale on Feb. 20.
    He is charged with robbery, graded as a felony 2, terroristic threats, graded as a misdemeanor 1 and simple assault, graded as a misdemeanor 2.
    His bail was set at $250,000. French was placed in the Wayne County Correctional Facility. His next court appearance will be on March 20 at 9 a.m. in the main courtroom.
    At approximately 1:51 p.m. on Feb. 20 the Honesdale Borough Police Department was dispatched to Citizens Savings Bank on 335 Willow Ave. Upon arrival the bank teller gave a description of French to police and stated that he approached her and handed her a handwritten robbery note demanding cash and indicating he had a gun and a partner outside.
    The note also advised to act quickly, naturally and everyone will be safe. The suspect also handed her a cloth tote bag and said, "hurry." The teller responded by putting money in the tote bag, later determined to be $2,420 in cash, and gave it to him.
    French then exited the front door. The note was recovered and it was handwritten on a plain piece of 8-1/2" x 11" paper. Surveillance footage and still photographs were obtained.
    The video footage revealed that French removed a black glove from his hand, while at the teller line, and that he had a white, rubber glove on his hand.
    Witnesses outside the bank said upon exiting the bank he ran southbound on Willow Avenue, crossed the road and ran onto Old Willow Avenue. Surveillance video was viewed at Rent-E-Quip, a business located at 416 Old Willow Avenue.
    Footage showed French running southbound on Old Willow Avenue at approximately 1:52 pm. Responding Pennsylvania State Police officers assisted with the investigation and a PSP officer located a single set of shoeprints off the left side of the roadway near 461 Old Willow Avenue, approximately 200 yards south of Rent-E-Quip. The shoeprints were in the snow and they led upward into a wooded area. The prints were followed through the wooded area.
    The prints led to a side door of a tattoo parlor on Grandview Avenue. It was located at 164 Grandview Ave. The shoeprints were later photographed and measured and appear consistent with a 9-1/2 size.
    Pennsylvania State Police officers entered the tattoo parlor business, which was open at the time, and made contact with French. A photo of him was taken and the investigation continued.
    Shortly thereafter French went to Cordaro's Restaurant 186 Grandview Ave. and then obtained a Maple City Taxi Cab and was taken to Dover, N.J. He paid $160 cash for the cab fare and a $20 tip.
    Page 2 of 2 - The complaint was filed with Magistrate Theodore Mikulak's office on Feb. 28 and French was apprehended by the Secaucus, New Jersey Police Department.

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