3 indicted in Pasadena bank robbery Female teller knew 1 of 2 men

March 21, 1992|By Norris P. West | Norris P. West,Staff Writer

A cash-strapped teller at a First National Bank branch in Pasadena gave her boyfriend the keys to the building and vault, enabling him and another man to steal $20,000, a federal grand jury charged in an indictment released yesterday.

Raymond J. Thiele, 31, of the 7800 block of Bridge Drive; Robert J. Thorpe Jr., 27, of the 3000 block of Strickland St., and Kathie Diane Miller, 40, of the 7800 block of Bruton Drive in Glen Burnie were charged with bank burglary and with aiding and abetting. The bank, on Smallwood Road in Pasadena, was burglarized late Feb. 20 or early Feb. 21, authorities said.

Ms. Miller, who had worked at the bank more than five years, told FBI investigators that she had been burdened by debts left from a former boyfriend when the burglary occurred, according to a court affidavit. She told the FBI she had been preparing to file for personal bankruptcy, according to the affidavit.

Officials said she had been dating Mr. Thiele for nine months.

The court document said Mr. Thorpe told an FBI agent on Feb. 7 that Mr. Thiele had asked him to help burglarize a Smallwood Road bank. He said Mr. Thiele assured him that a female employee could provide keys to the bank and a combination to a safe, and that the crime was planned for March 4, the document said.

Mr. Thorpe also told the agent that Mr. Thiele intended to kill the teller after the burglary, according to the affidavit.

On the morning of Feb. 21, bank officials found $20,116 missing from a vault that had contained two teller cash drawers, the affidavit said.

There was no sign of forced entry at the bank's door or at the vault. Ms. Miller, who normally worked alone at the bank's drive-through window after regular hours, had switched assignments with another employee the previous day and left early.

FBI agents arrested Mr. Thiele in Key Largo, Fla., on March 6 and arrested Mr. Thorpe in Key West, Fla., the following day. Each is in the custody of U.S. marshals in Florida on $500,000 bond. Both have since confessed to the burglary, the affidavit said. Ms. Miller was arrested March 9, and was released on her own recognizance.

The two men divided the cash with Ms. Miller at her apartment, according to the affidavit. She told investigators that she drove them to the airport Feb. 20.

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