Police bust alleged bank thieves - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Police bust alleged bank thieves

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Poultney, Vermont -- November 3, 2011

Vermont police think they've solved a slew of bank robberies by a modern day Bonnie and Clyde.

Jill Ludwig and John Maynard were in Rutland Criminal Court Thursday, charged with robbing five banks in the span of three months. But their luck ran out Wednesday thanks to the sharp eyes and keen sense of Jeff Roberts, a Poultney barber. "I was just cleaning my tools and I see her pull up across the street and she got out and she had a hood on and it was a beautiful day out yesterday, there was no reason to have a hood," he said.

Roberts says he saw Ludwig pull up in a black sedan with New Jersey plates. He said he jotted down her plate number after thinking that something just didn't seem right. "I thought it was kind of odd that somebody would be parking down here and walking up Main Street, because most people are going to park conveniently," he said.

According to police, Ludwig walked up the block, into the Citizens Bank on Main Street and demanded cash. "The note said that nobody will be hurt -- so she led tellers to believe harm could be done," said Vermont State Police Lt. Tim Oliver.

The teller gave her a bank bag of money, but put a dye pack in there too -- the only teller to do so in this string of robbery's according to police. The pack exploded a few steps out of the store emitting purple and red smoke from her purse. "A dye pack is placed in the money. It stains the money and leaves a discernable trail,"  Lt. Oliver said.
 
The couple's streak of alleged robberies started on September 7th at the Merchants Bank in Rutland Town. Then, on October 7th, they struck the Lake Sunapee Bank in West Rutland. The TD bank in Granville, New York was targeted twice, first on October 25th and again on the 29th.  But Poultney appears to be their last heist.

Police say they did each job differently and got away with it because they didn't draw attention to themselves. "The first one in Rutland Town, he was the one who went in the bank and she was in the car, and the other one the other day, to the knowledge we have right now, she was alone,"

Another difference in Poultney case was a credible witness who had a clear view of her pulling up across the street and lucky for police, was paying attention. Some say Jeff Roberts is a local hero, but he says he's just nosey. "I have a cash business. I can get robbed just as easy as anybody else so I kinda keep my eyes open," he said.

A man looking forward to getting out of the spotlight and back behind the barbers chair where he says he belongs. "This is a sharp guy and we owe him a huge debt of gratitude," Lt. Oliver said.

The pair are behind bars and have been ordered to have no contact with each other. Vermont and New York Police say once they wrap up the investigation they will present the case to federal investigators because the couple crossed state lines for their crimes.

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