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Fri, Oct 24, 2014 02:04 PM
Issue of October 22, 2014
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Former employee accused in bank robbery

January 08, 2014 | 10:26 AM

The suspect from last week's robbery at the First Harrison Bank branch in Palmyra has been identified by the Harrison County Sheriff's Dept. as Lori L. Kiesler, a former bank employee who resides in the Palmyra area.

An affidavit of probable cause was filed Friday stating Kiesler committed the offense of Class B felony and Class D theft. As of press time yesterday (Tuesday), she had not been officially charged.

According to the report, filed by Det. Nick Smith, the suspect entered the bank shortly after 10 a.m. wearing a blue surgical/dust mask. The bank teller who was approached by the suspect said she was handed a printed/typed note claiming that the woman later identified as Kiesler needed access to her safety deposit box. The teller said that, once inside the vault, the suspect handed her another printed/typed "robbery" note and pulled back her jacket, displaying a black handgun that was tucked in the waistband of her pants.

The bank manager told police that the suspect forced numerous employees into the vault by motioning them with a handgun. The manager recognized the suspect as former bank employee Kiesler.

The 51-year-old female was later located by police and confessed to the robbery. During this interview, she allegedly told police she had hidden the gun, clothing and money in a trashcan behind the bank. Police subsequently located a cigarette butt/ashtray-style trashcan outside the rear door of the bank.

"Within this trashcan, police found a Louisville Cardinals drawstring-style bag that contained a pair of gloves, a black in color Daisy brand bb-gun (handgun style), a hooded sweatshirt, a blue in color surgical/dust mask, synthetic stuffing, a long-sleeve shirt, a stocking cap and approximately $5,630," according to the probable cause affidavit.

During the execution of a search warrant at Kiesler's residence, a backpack was found that contained Kiesler's work identification badge and a computer-generated note similar to the one used during the robbery.

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.

William (Bill) Harrod, First Harrison Bank president and CEO, said the bank does not make comments about ongoing investigations.

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 Community First Bank's branch in downtown Corydon. The robber was captured within minutes.

  1. print email
    Within Minutes
    January 10, 2014 | 08:40 PM

    The story says she was "later located." Was this the same day or later because she was not arrested right away.

    Just Curious
  2. print email
    January 11, 2014 | 06:06 AM

    Just Curious,

    Apparently, she walked out the rear entrance of the bank and passed a law enforcement officer who had just arrived. She told the officer she was a bank employee and that the robbery was still ongoing inside. He is distracted by this because she doesn't look like a bank robber, and she sneaks away.

  3. print email
    January 11, 2014 | 10:24 AM

    None of these comments are true. Please if you do not know what happened don't go by hearsay. Get the facts straight.

  4. print email
    January 13, 2014 | 10:29 AM

    Wonder why she would throw her life away and hurt her family like that pretty selfish

  5. print email
    Out of character
    January 14, 2014 | 01:05 PM

    I know Lori personally and the robbery was totally out of character for her. Everyone in our community who know Lori and her family are puzzled by her action. I pray that she gets the help that she needs and strength for her family to get thru this ordeal.

  6. print email
    January 15, 2014 | 02:20 PM

    I feel sorry for the girls that had to go through this. maybe someone should think about them. Even if it was ' out of character' for Lori she still made that choice. Those girls that didn't have a choice in the matter and neither did her family. So I think people need to think twice before they say how sorry they feel for her and think about the real victims in the situation.

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