March 31st, 2012 by WCBC Radio
Investigators with the Allegany County Combined Criminal Investigation Unit (C3I), the Pennsylvania State Police, the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office, and the FBI have made an arrest in a series of bank robberies which have occurred in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
On 12/23/2010 the First Commonwealth Bank branch office on William Penn Highway in Osterburg, Pennsylvania was robbed at gunpoint by a single male suspect. On 03/11/2011 the M & T Bank branch office on Industrial Boulevard in Cumberland was robbed at gunpoint by a single male suspect. On 06/24/2011 the Susquehanna Bank branch office on Industrial Boulevard in Cumberland was robbed at gun point by a single male suspect. On 09/13/2011 the same M & T Bank branch office on Industrial Boulevard was robbed at gun point by a single male suspect.
After further investigation and after reviewing surveillance video, Investigators determined that the same suspect was responsible for all four robberies.
Then, on 03/16/2012, the BB&T Bank branch office in Fort Ashby, West Virginia was robbed at gun point by a single male suspect. Although the suspect had taken steps to alter his appearance from the first four robberies, further investigation and review of video surveillance led Investigators to the conclusion that the same suspect was responsible.
Investigation into the incident by the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office led to witnesses who described a possible suspect vehicle that was possibly displaying a dealer tag magnetically mounted on the trunk. Investigators also determined that the suspect had been spotted in Fort Ashby the day before, driving what was believed to be another vehicle for sale, based on numbering or lettering that was displayed in the front windshield.
Investigators then received a tip from a local Short Gap, West Virginia car dealer who had information about a possible suspect who had taken an identical vehicle as that described by witnesses for a test drive on the day of the robbery. They also learned that the suspect had taken another vehicle for a test drive the day before, matching information supplied by the witnesses.
Investigators gathered additional information, and based on all the information were able to obtain a search warrant for a private residence on Meder’s Lane in Cumberland. On 03/30/2012, when the search warrant was served at the residence, Investigators recovered a large sum of currency hidden in the residence, several articles of clothing identical to that worn by the suspect in all five robberies, as well as a vehicle believed to have been used in the initial robbery in Osterburg, Pennsylvania.
As a result, and after consultation with the Allegany County State’s Attorney’s Office, Investigators arrested 49 year old John Allen Talerico, of Cumberland, and charged him with three counts each of Armed Robbery, Robbery, and Theft in connection with the three robberies which occurred in Maryland.
Talerico was taken before a District Court Commissioner for an initial appearance and was incarcerated in the Allegany County Detention Center on $500,000.00 bond pending his next court appearance.
Additional charges in Maryland are pending, as well as further charges in Pennsylvania and West Virginia for the robberies which occurred there.
The investigation is continuing.