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Alleged bank robber has second thoughts

Courtney Astolfi • May 13, 2014 at 8:44 AM

A Sandusky man was jailed Monday for allegedly trying to rob a bank in the Sandusky Plaza, then changing his mind and wandering into a nearby church.

Travis Terrell, 49, of the 500 block of E. Adams St., was charged with burglary and inducing panic.

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It was just prior to noon Monday when Terrell slipped into U.S. Bank on Cleveland Road and approached a teller’s window, Sandusky police Detective Dana Newell said.    

“Then he basically told the teller, ‘I’m here to rob you” Newell said.

Stunned, the teller froze and peered back at the suspect. Terrell then simply walked away and approached a second, vacant teller window.

“They just looked at him, then he turned to walk out,” Newell said. “He didn’t state he was going to harm anyone, or show any indications he was going to (harm someone)”

Sandusky officers were called to the scene and promptly established a perimeter.

As they were scoping out the area, Sandusky police Officer Kris Parsons noticed a door closing at New Day Family Resource Center at Warren and Finch streets.

Officers circled back to the building and found Terrell inside. He appeared intoxicated, police said, and had stashed an open beer in a bag later located inside the church, according to a police report.

A volunteer at the center told a Register reporter Terrell did not seem nervous or rushed when he walked inside and asked them for clothing items.

“He’s a client here. He’s come in for items before, (but) he’s never been a problem” the volunteer said.

Officers arrested Terrell without incident and found he was not carrying any weapons

“It could have been a lot worse,” the volunteer said. “They escorted him out. Everybody handled the situation just fine”

Officers interviewed Terrell back at the Sandusky police station.

“He said something like, ‘I didn’t say I was going to rob them — I said I was going to burglarize them,’” Newell said.

Officers charged Terrell with inducing panic “due to the fact that Terrell committed an offense that caused serious public inconvenience or alarm,” Lt. Robert VanScoy wrote in a report.

Additionally, Erie County assistant prosecutor Mary Ann Barylski authorized a third-degree felony burglary charge, “due to the fact that he trespassed (on bank property) with the intent to commit a criminal offense,” the report said.

Terrell remains in the Erie County jail without bond.

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