Janine Edwards, Wayne County District Attorney, announced Thursday that Pennsylvania State Police found and arrested the alleged perpetrator of a bank robbery which occurred early Wednesday morning in Gouldsboro, Lehigh Township, Wayne County.
A criminal complaint was filed early Thursday against William R. Fischer, Dunmore, alleging robbery and various other crimes by the Pennsylvania State Police.
According to the Affidavit of Probable Cause, on September 14, 2017, a bank robbery occurred at the People’s Security Bank located at 534 Main St. in Lehigh Township, Wayne County at approx. 10:05 a.m.
A white male wearing a red hooded sweatshirt, a gray baseball cap, a black face covering, black gloves, and blue jeans approached the counter and displayed a pistol.
A bank employee reported that this male was wearing a hoodie with the hood pulled over a baseball cap, a pair of black gloves and had a black gun when he entered the bank and approached her window.
She related that man pointed a gun at her and told he wanted all the money in reserve drawers and from the drive through.
She also related the man then pointed the gun at another employee and told her “no alarms.”
The bank employee related that she then gave the actor all the money in her first and second drawer, along with “bait money.”
She related the man then told the employee to get on the floor and proceeded on to the second teller at the bank and told her that he wanted all the money in her drawers as well.
The employee related that the second teller gave the actor all the money in her drawer and the actor told her to get on the ground, too, which they did.
It is alleged the robbery resulted in $16,790 being taken from the People’s Security Bank in Gouldsboro. Bank employees gave a description of the man and the car he got in when he left the bank.
A PSP Blooming Grove Station Patrol Unit was responding to the People’s Security Bank in Lehigh Township, Wayne County, when he observed a red Hyundai Elantra pass him on SR 507, heading in a northern direction.
The vehicle matched the description given by the bank employees of the car used by the man who had just robbed them.
The officer contacted another PSP officer in the vicinity and notified him that the red Hyundai Elantra had just passed him and it was heading north on SR 507.
PSP patrol subsequently located the red Hyundai Elantra on SR 507 heading north. He then observed the red Hyundai Elantra pull into the PNC Bank at the corner of SR 507 and SR 447 and approach the ATM.
The red Hyundai Elantra then left the bank parking lot, turning south on to SR 507 and at 10:22 a.m. the patrol officer performed a traffic stop on the vehicle based on it matching the description of the vehicle involved in the robbery earlier at the People’s Security Bank.
The PSP patrol officer approached the vehicle and made contact with the operator, William R. Fischer, who identified himself by his PA driver’s license and his Lackawanna County Firearms Permit.
Fischer’s driver’s license indicated he resided in Dunmore, Lackawanna County. Fischer also produced a rental agreement, which did not appear to be for the red Hyundai Elantra.
The officer said while speaking with Fischer, he (Fischer) related he had loaded firearms in the trunk of the vehicle.
Fischer told the officer that he had just visited his mother in Gouldsboro and was now on his way to a firing range in Henryville. Fischer was then detained and the vehicle towed to PSP Honesdale.
Since December of 2015 numerous law enforcement agencies in Lackawanna, Wayne, Monroe and Luzerne Counties have been investigating twelve bank robberies, all of which appear to be committed by the same actor using the same method.
During those robberies the actor was observed to be wearing similar clothing combinations, which varied in color.
Furthermore, due to the bulkiness and shape of the actor’s torso and clothing it was believed he was wearing a ballistic vest.
It is also believed due to the actor's proficiency committing the robberies that he conducted surveillance and counter surveillance on the banks prior to robbing them.
During the day Thursday, various law enforcement officers worked to investigate this case.
An information check was done by PSP and it was discovered Fischer rented a vehicle on 08/07/17 at 09:35 a.m. from Enterprise Rental at 1231 Wyoming Avenue Scranton.
The vehicle he rented was a Dodge Charger, which was found to be grey in color.
This vehicle matches the description of the suspect vehicle utilized in a bank robbery of First National Bank on SR611 in Pocono Township, Monroe County which occurred on the same date, 08/07/17, at 12:11 p.m.
The PSP Bureau of Gaming Enforcement at Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs in Wilkes Barre was also contacted and it was discovered that on 08/07/17 Fischer deposited cash into slot machines at the Mohegan Sun Pocono casino without gambling and then obtained approximately $2,000 worth of vouchers.
Fischer was arraigned Thursday by Magistrate Bonnie Carney and bail was set at $500,000. .
Fischer is next due in court for a Central Court appearance on Sept. 27 at 9 am at the Wayne County Courthouse, Honesdale, Pennsylvania.
DA Edwards stated that “the hard work of the Pennsylvania State Police and FBI, along with various other law enforcement agencies, resulted in the quick outcome of an arrest of someone who has been charged with terrorizing bank employees for almost two years and stealing tens of thousands of dollars.”