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Mahoning Twp. bank robbery suspect is apprehended

  • David Dallus Cunard
    David Dallus Cunard
Published June 04. 2012 05:03PM

A Hazleton man has been charged with robbing the Mahoning Township branch of PNC bank on Thursday.

David Dallas Cunard, 46, was arrested Friday night at his residence by Mahoning Township Police with the assistance of the Hazleton City Police Department.

He was arraigned before District Judge Casimir Kosciolek and then incarcerated in the Carbon County Correctional Facility.

According to the affidavit, Cunard got $1,585 during the robbery.

No weapon was displayed during the robbery, police had stated.

Police said Cunard is also considered a suspect of a robbery at a KNT bank in Schnecksville on May 24.

It's not the first time Cunard was in trouble for bank robbery. In April 1998 he was given a 57-month prison sentence by a federal judge for robbing a bank in the Scranton area.

Also in 1998, he was given a 2-4 year prison sentence for a supermarket robbery in Monroe County.

Cunard, employed as a general contractor, has been charged by Mahoning Township police with the felony count of robbery and the misdemeanor counts of theft by unlawful taking or disposition and receiving stolen property.

The robbery of the PNC Bank occurred at about 2:45 p.m. on Thursday, while four employees and two customers were inside the bank.

Cunard allegedly produced a yellow paper with writing on it and placed it on the counter in front of a teller. The note stated, "This is a robbery, put the money in the bag." The suspect produced a zippered bank bag. He placed the note inside his bag along with the money he obtained during the robbery.

He then exited the bank and ran east through the parking lot of the Carbon Plaza Mall toward Arby's, according to the affidavit.

Police Officer Audie Mertz of the Mahoning Township Police Department was given about 15 still images of the suspect inside the bank, some of which he distributed to the news media.

He also obtained security video from Arby's whereby, he writes in the affidavit, "I observed a gold colored Ford F series truck with a utility body travel from the direction of the PNC bank through the parking lot toward Arby's. The vehicle backed into an angled parking space on the East wall of Payless Shoes. After a short period of time, the male driver exits the vehicle and walks toward PNC bank. A few minutes later the male is observed running from the PNC bank to the vehicle. He enters the driver's seat and exits the parking lot at (2:47 p.m.) failing to stop at the stop sign before entering the highway."

Mertz said he later received information about the May 24 robbery at the Schnecksville bank, and that a similar vehicle was used during that incident.

On June 1, police Officer Dan Long of the Mahoning Township Police Department received a call. The caller informed Long that Cunard was the individual who had robbed the PNC bank. The caller also stated that Cunard "has a drug problem and has robbed banks in the past."

Later that day, Mertz also received a call from someone who fingered Cunard as the suspected bank robber.

Mertz went on the Internet and found the Facebook page of Cunard, on which there are photos of his pickup truck.

The charges against Cunard have been forwarded to the office of District Judge Edward Lewis of Jim Thorpe, who will be scheduling a preliminary hearing.

After the Schnecksville bank robbery had occurred, a note flew out of a vehicle traveling on Route 309 in West Penn Township. The noted, which stated, "This is a robbery....fill the bag," was found by two young children.

The note was then given to West Penn Township Chief of Police Brian Johnson.

Police are investigating whether Cunard discarded the note as he was fleeing back to Hazleton through West Penn Township. The children, who were playing in their driveway, gave the note to their parents who notified police.

The note was transferred to Mertz, who reportedly has forwarded it to the state police crime lab in Bethlehem.

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