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Man pleads guilty in separate robberies at two Hagerstown banks

August 05, 2013|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • Jeffrey Irvin Sheffler
Submitted photo

HAGERSTOWN — A Hagerstown man whose surveillance camera photos led to his arrest in two bank robberies this spring pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery Monday in Washington County Circuit Court.

Deputy State’s Attorney Joseph Michael said the state was seeking a 12-year state prison sentence for 50-year-old Jeffrey Irvin Sheffler for the April 22 holdup at the Susquehanna Bank on Frederick Street and the May 7 robbery of PNC Bank on Dual Highway.

“He obtained the money to pay off his drug debts,” Michael told Circuit Judge Daniel P. Dwyer.

Dwyer granted the defense request for a delay in sentencing, in part to determine how much restitution is owed to the banks and to allow time for a presentence investigation.

Reading from the statement of facts, Michael said a man wearing a baseball cap and dark glasses went into the Susquehanna Bank on the morning of May 22 and handed the teller a note that read, “Give me all your money or I’ll use my gun if I have to.”

The man made off with $2,146 in that robbery, Michael said.

On May 7, a man fitting the same description went into the PNC Bank and handed the teller a note reading, “Give me all your money because I have a gun,” Michael said.

The robber did not display a weapon in either robbery, Michael told Dwyer.

Court records show that $3,605 was taken in the PNC robbery.

Photos from the May 7 robbery were released the same day and led to “a flood of calls,” Hagerstown Police Chief Mark Holtzman said at the time.

A number of people recognized Sheffler as possibly being the robber when they saw photos released that day to the media. They included a city police officer who investigated him in another case, his former probation supervision agent and a woman who saw the photos, according to court records. The manager of a restaurant where Sheffler previously worked was able to tell police that he was working at another restaurant, where Sheffler was arrested on the afternoon of May 7, court records said.

Assistant Public Defender Amy Taylor-Heimberg said during the hearing that $2,005 was recovered when police searched Sheffler’s apartment after his arrest.

The defense will be free to argue for a lesser sentence than the state is seeking, she said.

As part of the plea agreement, other charges stemming from the robberies, including armed robbery, were dismissed.

Sheffler was in court Monday for trial on three theft cases from 2012, but those also were dismissed as part of the plea deal.

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