Two men charged in most recent robbery

Published: 1/11/2017 11:00 AM
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BY MARK GILGER

THE NEWS-ITEM

mark_g@newsitem.com

RALPHO TOWNSHIP — A 26-year-old Shamokin man charged late Monday with robbing the Santander Bank in Elysburg earlier in the day admitted to being involved in two other robberies at banks in Kulpmont and Trevorton, according to a search warrant issued for his apartment.

Richard Robert Snyder, of 510 N. Eighth St., Apt. 6, who was arraigned at 10:45 p.m. Monday by Magisterial District Judge John Gembic III on robbery charges, told police during an interview that he drove vehicles to robberies at BB&T Bank in Kulpmont on Dec. 6 and Riverview Bank in Trevorton on Dec. 14.

Snyder said his accomplice in the Kulpmont and Trevorton robberies, whom he did not identify, robbed the banks, while he served as the get-away driver. Snyder admitted receiving some of the money from the robberies.

Also Tuesday, a Mount Carmel man who police say drove Snyder from the scene of the Elysburg heist was charged.

According to a criminal complaint, Snyder is charged by Ralpho Township Cpl. Bryon Chowka with a felony of robbery and criminal conspiracy, and misdemeanors of theft and receiving stolen property in the Elysburg bank robbery.

Police did not say exactly how much money Snyder removed from the bank at 196 W. Valley Ave. (Route 487). But they reported a large amount of cash was found on Snyder when he and David Wengrenovich Jr., 26, of 349 S. Chestnut St., Mount Carmel, were stopped in a Ford Focus ZX 5 by Shamokin Patrolman William Miner on the berm of Route 61 at the intersection with Hospital Road at Tharptown within 10 minutes of the 1:25 p.m. robbery.

Police also found a red and white paper wrapper with $500 written on it on the front passenger seat of the Focus and a pink and black bag under the front passenger seat that was similar to one identified by bank employees used by Snyder in the robbery.

Police reported Snyder was wearing clothing similar to the clothing worn by the robber as described by the bank teller.

Snyder, who was incarcerated at Columbia County Prison in lieu of $300,000 cash bail following his arraignment, admitted committing the robbery at Santander Bank, according to police.

Driver charged

On Tuesday afternoon, Chowka also charged Wengrenovich with two counts of robbery and one count each of theft, receiving stolen property and possession of heroin relating to the Elysburg bank robbery.

Wengrenovich is accused of driving Snyder to the Santander Bank and attempting to drive him home after the robbery. Police found 10 empty wax packages containing heroin in Wengrenovich’s wallet upon taking him into custody and the defendant admitted using heroin a few days prior to the robbery.

Wengrenovich was detained Monday on a probation violation and remains incarcerated at Columbia County Prison.

A criminal complaint states that Snyder contacted Wengrenovich for a ride through a text message and told him to park on Oak Street in Elysburg and wait for him to return. After Snyder returned to the car from the robbery, he told Wengrenovich to “get out of here.”

Wengrenovich and Snyder traveled from Oak Street onto Route 487 south before heading south on Route 61 toward Shamokin.

After seeing Miner’s cruiser pull in behind their car on Route 61, Snyder said he started hiding the money on himself, while Wengrenovich continued driving.

Both men were apprehended in a dramatic scene as numerous police officers converged on their car. Miner, who had his handgun drawn, was able to detain the driver, while Coal Township Patrolman Chris Williams detained Snyder.

Officers from Ralpho Township, Coal Township and Shamokin and state police at Stonington assisted with the apprehension, which that took place about six miles from the bank.

Money found

Trooper Kevin Kearney of state police at Stonington, who obtained the search warrant for Snyder’s apartment from Gembic at about 9:30 p.m. Monday, said the banks provided police with a list of serial numbers of the bills taken in the robberies.

According to court documents, Snyder was charged May 9 by Williamsport police with possessing a controlled substance and possessing drug paraphernalia.

According to court documents, Wengrenovich was previously charged by Shamokin Patrolman Raymond Siko II with possession of drug paraphernalia involving an incident on Nov. 6. He also was charged by Mount Carmel police with possessing drug paraphernalia on Sept. 8, and two counts of criminal trespass that occurred in the borough July 7, 2014, and Sept. 4, 2014.

Monday’s incident was the fifth bank robbery since Dec. 6 in eastern Northumberland County.

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