The man accused of robbing the Mahoning Valley branch of PNC Bank at Carbon Plaza Mall two weeks ago has opted to refuse a preliminary hearing on the charges.

David Dallas Cunard, 46, of Hazleton, appeared before District Judge Edward Lewis of Jim Thorpe, yesterday for the hearing. He instead waived all the charges to Carbon County Court.

Charges filed against him include robbery, theft by unlawful taking, and receiving stolen property.

He presently remains lodged in the Carbon County Correctional Facility in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Cunard netted $1,585 during the robbery, court records indicate.

The robbery happened at about 2:45 p.m. on May 31. A lone individual walked into the PNC branch and, when he got to the teller's counter, he reportedly presented a zippered bank bag. He placed a note next to the bag which stated: "This is a robbery; put the money in the bag."

The robber then placed the money inside the bag and fled. No weapon was displayed during the robbery.

Surveillance cameras indicated that, after leaving the bank, he ran east through the parking lot of the Carbon Plaza Mall, toward Arby's, and to his waiting car, which was parked near the Pay-Less Shoe Store.

Mahoning Township police Officer Audie Mertz is the arresting officer. After the robbery, Mertz distributed pictures of the suspect to the news media.

Cunard is also a potential suspect in the May 24 hold up of a KNT Bank in Schnecksville.

In April 1998, he had been given a 57-month prison sentence by a federal judge for robbing a bank in the Scranton area.