COURT: Suspect admits robbing banks

Merritt’s alleged take: $5,000 in 2 incidents; one case outstanding

Michelle Monroe

By Michelle Monroe

Staff Writer

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ST. ALBANS — Travis Merritt, 33, of High Street in St. Albans, has been formally arraigned on federal charges of robbing a federally insured bank.

According to an affidavit from FBI agent William G. McSalis, Merritt confessed to two robberies at the People’s United Bank on Main Street after his arrest on Thursday.

Merritt was found to be carrying $2,926 at the time of his arrest.

During the first robbery last Monday, the robber had worn a dark blue hooded sweatshirt. Employees of the bank told Det. Paul Morits of the St. Albans Police Dept. (SAPD) that “a male had entered the bank, approached the counter, said ‘This is a robbery,’ and then jumped over the counter,” McSalis stated. “”The male took money from two bank drawers, jumped back over the counter and then fled on foot.”

The robber escaped with $2,183.

On Thursday, the SAPD was called back to the bank for a second robbery. When Morits arrived, according to the affidavit, the bank manager was holding Merritt on the ground. “Bank employees told Det. Morits that a bank customer and her son helped assist the bank manager in taking Merritt to the ground,” wrote McSalis.

The employees described a robbery similar to the first with the robber again jumping the counter and taking money from two bank drawers. According to the bank, the robber took $2,927.

Merritt was wearing a sweatshirt with eyeholes cut into the hood at the time of the second robbery.

Security footage from the first robbery shows eyeholes in the back of the hoodie worn by the robber.

A robber wearing a hoodie backwards with eyeholes cut into the hood robbed the TD Bank in Swanton on April 14. Merritt has not been charged with that robbery, and the investigation is still ongoing.

According to the affidavit, Merritt confessed to Morits that he had taken money from the bank on both Monday and Thursday.

Merritt has been assigned a public defender and is scheduled for a detention hearing this afternoon.

A previous bank robber in Franklin County, Chad Lussier, was convicted connection with a series of bank robberies in 2009. After pleading guilty he was sentenced to nearly six years in federal prison.