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Alleged bank robber in custody in Virginia

December 27, 2001

Alleged bank robber in custody in Virginia



By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI
kimy@herald-mail.com


A Funkstown woman who police allege robbed a Hagerstown bank to pay her ex-boyfriend's mortgage was in custody in Virginia Monday.

Catherine Annette Tschudin, 43, formerly of 17 W. Maple Ave., Funkstown, was charged with robbery and theft of more than $500. She was being held in a Newport News, Va., jail Monday evening.

Police said the charges against Tschudin stemmed from a Feb. 17 robbery at the First United Bank & Trust at 751 Knightsbridge Drive.

The robber told bank employees, "This is a robbery. I'm serious, get down on the floor, don't set off any alarms," charging documents said.

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Authorities surmised that the robber was a woman because the robber had a high-pitched voice, charging documents said.

The robber did not display a weapon but kept her left fist clenched.

The robber handed a plastic bag to a teller and ordered that it be filled with money.

The robber, who drove away in a late model Ford Contour, made off with $3,466 in cash, charging documents said.

A Maryland State Police trooper received a tip on July 17 identifying a woman believed to have robbed a Hagerstown bank.

The trooper called Hagerstown City Police to check the information he received with details of bank robberies in the city in February and found they matched the Feb. 17 hold-up.

Charging documents allege Tschudin confessed to two women during a July 26 conversation at a Funkstown home.

On Aug. 1, police interviewed a Funkstown man, who said he had previously dated the woman police believed to be the robber.

The man said she told him in February, "I love you so much I want you to know that I robbed a bank for you and sent the money to the mortgage company," charging documents said.

The man said the woman committed the robbery alone.

The woman told Smith she took more than $3,000 and used her own vehicle for the getaway, charging documents said.

Smith said the woman owned a 1998 or 1999 Ford Taurus.

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