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Issue of October 15, 2014
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Conservation Officer Jim Schreck stands on guard in the intersection of U.S. 150 and S.R. 135 in Palmyra Monday morning as officers check nearby First Harrison Bank following an alleged robbery. Photo by Ross Schulz (click for larger version)

Suspect at large after bank robbery

December 31, 2013 | 08:35 AM

The First Harrison Bank branch in Palmyra was robbed Monday morning at about 10:12, according to Harrison County Sheriff Rodney (Rod) Seelye.

At that time, a caller to Harrison County Dispatch reported a possible robbery after going through the drive-through and seeing employees inside with their hands up and seeing one of the employees mouth the words "Call 911."

Palmyra Town Marshal Dennis Lemmel, first on the scene, reported seeing a person wearing a blue medical mask.

Seelye said they received initial conflicting reports about whether the suspect — first described as a heavy-build white female, about 5-foot-2 or 5-foot-3 and wearing a grey toboggan and white windbreaker — was still in the building or not.

Lemmel said he led employees from the bank's ground level out of the building and across U.S. 150 to Save-a-Step.

Later, Seelye said, they were able to lead another group of employees out of the building.

Lemmel relayed information that the suspect did display a weapon.

"The suspect fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of money," Seelye said, although it was unclear which direction the suspect left.

Nearly 45 minutes of the initial dispatch, the suspect was reported as wearing either a blue or black ski mask and being about 5-foot-9.

Assisting the Palmyra Police Dept. and Harrison County Sheriff's Dept. at the scene were the Indiana State Police, Conservation Officer Jim Schreck, Greenville Police Dept., U.S. Marshals and Floyd County Sheriff's Dept.

"Everybody helped out," Seelye said.

Almost an hour after the robbery report in Palmyra, an alarm at First Federal Savings Bank in Lanesville was tripped; however, the bank checked secure.

The First Harrison Bank branch in Palmyra also was robbed in 2005. Twenty-five-year-old William (Donnie) Ritter was captured a couple of weeks later in Texas and was charged with the crime.

The last bank robbery in the county was in 2009, at a Community First Bank in downtown Corydon. The robber was captured within minutes of that crime.

UPDATE (Friday, Jan. 3, 2014):The alleged First Harrison Bank robber from Tuesday has been identified and had charges filed against her. She is identified as former bank employee Lori L. Kiesler, 51, of Palmyra. Kiesler has been charged with Class B felony robbery and criminal confinement and Class D felony theft. We'll have more on this story in the Jan. 8 edition of TCD.

Twitter: @rossschulz

  1. print email
    What a scary story!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    January 06, 2014 | 01:30 PM

    How sad it is, we are now unable to go inside a small town bank. ATM machines are still convenient for my family to use. We still must keep track of our transactions, what a world we now must live in now-a-days.

    Angela Ward
  2. print email
    Has anyone ever NOT been caught robbing a bank?
    January 07, 2014 | 03:37 PM

    It sounds like every attempt since 2005 the person was apprehended. Amazing! And I'm glad the woman was caught.

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