Lehighton bank robbed; suspect identified
A man accused of robbing a bank on Route 443 Thursday morning was arrested about 10 minutes later, after police followed a transponder which was hidden among the cash.
Jody Lee Christman, 51, of Lehighton, was allegedly found with $1,320 in stolen cash and the GPS tracking device after police stopped his vehicle in Lehighton around 11:10 a.m.
The bank robbery occurred at 11 a.m. on Thursday.
A bank teller told police that a man came into the bank and handed her a handwritten note demanding money, as well as a shopping bag. The teller said she handed over all the money in the drawer and a hidden GPS tracker.
Mahoning Township and Lehighton Borough Police responded after the GPS tracker activated. They tracked the device from Route 443 to Bridge Street, where they stopped a silver Dodge Stratus. When the vehicle stopped moving, the GPS signal stopped moving as well.
Mahoning Police detained the driver, who they recognized as Christman, and found a large amount of money in the pocket of his sweatpants.
Police then returned to the bank and reviewed surveillance footage. They said the footage clearly showed that Christman was the bank robber.
Officers counted the bills in the register and found it was short $1,320 -- the same amount found on Christman.
An employee of a nearby business told police that around the time of the robbery, a man matching the description in their parking lot using a newspaper to cover his license plate.
When Police transported Christman to the station, he allegedly asked officers “how much time am I looking at”. Police read him his Miranda rights, and he requested an attorney. He then stated that times were tough and he can’t find a job.
Police charged Christman with robbery, theft, and receiving stolen property. He was sent to Carbon County Correctional Facility with bail set at $150,000.
A preliminary hearing on the charges was scheduled for July 3 before Magisterial District Judge Casimir T. Kosciolek.