The Huntsville Item, Huntsville, TX

Local News

May 23, 2012

Bank robbery suspect indicted


A New Waverly man who claimed to have an explosive device in an attempt to rob a Huntsville bank almost three months ago was indicted by a Walker County grand jury Thursday.
George Alfred Vanschenck, a 47-year-old parolee from New York now living in New Waverly, is facing a first-degree charge of aggravated robbery, which carries a sentence of up to 99 years in prison. He has convictions for similar robberies in New York.
Vanschenck was arrested March 2 after he allegedly walked into First Financial Bank, located at 33 Highway 75 North, at 12:33 p.m. and passed a note to a teller demanding cash and threatening to blow up the bank. He fled on foot with $3,975 and was pursued by witnesses while heading south on Highway 75.
The suspect was seen entering a health club in a shopping center near the old Tractor Supply Company Building. When officers with the Huntsville Police Department arrived, Vanschenck was found hiding in the men’s locker room of the health club.
“The officers went into the health club, and Vanschenck was in the shower area with his shirt off,” Walker County Assistant District Attorney Jack Choate said. “His shirt was lying on top of a duffle bag that contained the stolen money. He was arrested and taken into custody.”
Witnesses claimed to have seen Vanschenck stop at a creek near the old Tractor Supply. Officers searched the creek but found no explosive device there or on the suspect at the time he was taken into custody.
The grand jury also handed down the following indictments:
• Floyd Rigsby, evading arrest detention with a vehicle and possession of a controlled substance point grade one.
• Jason Allan Oliphant, evading arrest detention with a vehicle and possession of a controlled substance point grade one.
• Jerome Dion Penson, theft of property more than $1,500 but less than $20,000.

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