BRATTLEBORO -- Police have identified a Massachusetts man as the person responsible for a bank robbery at TD Bank in downtown Brattleboro in August.
Shayne Fleming-Pancione, 35, of Easthampton, Mass., is charged with one count of assault and robbery, and one count of grand larceny, both felonies, and could face up to 10 years for each.
At about 10:12 a.m., on Aug. 13, Fleming-Pancione allegedly walked into the TD Bank along Main Street and demanded that the tellers give him the $50 and $100 bills from both the drawers.
One of the tellers told Brattleboro Police Det. Paul Beebe that the man threatened, "do what I say or I will shoot," although he never displayed a weapon.
The suspect was given $3,050 in $50s and $100s and left through the front entrance.
On Sept. 2, Beebe said he received a phone call from Det. Robert Alberti from the Easthampton Police Department.
Alberti told Beebe he was investigating Fleming-Pancione for allegedly counterfeiting bills and stated he may have been involved in the bank robbery.
According to Alberti, evidence gathered suggested that Fleming-Pancione used two counterfeit $20 bills at a McDonald's on Northhampton Street on Aug., 28. Later that day, he used four more counterfeit $20 bills at a 7-Eleven convenience store along Union Street.
Information provided by a 7-Eleven employee and security camera footage suggested that at least two of the $20 were passed to the store clerk by a person who is now cooperating with the investigation.
While reviewing footage from the 7-Eleven, officers recognized the person using the counterfeit bills as a known heroin addict who has cooperated and worked with police in the past, Alberti wrote.
Initially, the Cooperative Individual denied knowing the currency was fake and had obtained it as change from a bar, but later recanted that statement and admitted obtaining the counterfeit bills from Fleming-Pancione.
The CI told police that Fleming-Pancione left his apartment to go to his father's office, Fleming-Pancione Associates, with what appeared to be $20 bills.
"On one occasion, the CI saw Fleming-Pancione return from his father's office with a sheet of paper printed in color on both sides with three counterfeit $20 bills," Alberti wrote.
The CI denied knowing that Fleming-Pancione allegedly robbed a bank in Vermont but became suspicious of his spending habits after the TD bank in Brattleboro had been robbed.
Fleming-Pancione had a lot of cash and was able to pay off bills, buy new clothes and a flat screen television, which was unusual the CI told police, because the CI and Fleming-Pancione "typically struggled to accumulate small amounts of cash to buy heroin," Alberti wrote.
After looking in Fleming-Pancione laptop's browser history, the CI said it saw several news articles related to the Brattleboro bank robbery and an image of a $20 bill.
After looking at security footage from the bank robbery, the CI identified Fleming-Pancione as the man in the photographs.
On Sept., 1, four counterfeit $20 bills were used at Cumberland Farms along College Highway in Southampton, Mass., Alberti wrote. Security camera photographs showed a man who appeared to be Fleming-Pancione driving away from the scene shortly after the counterfeit bills were used.
Five days later, Alberti called Beebe to tell him Fleming-Pancione was arrested and being held for drug and counterfeiting charges. Alberti also said that during a search of Felming-Pancione's home, a gray sweatshirt matching the one worn by the bank robber was collected as evidence.
On Sept. 19, Alberti told Beebe he had taken a sworn written statement from Troy Jagodowski, 32, of South Hadley, Mass., who's friends with Fleming-Pancione.
In his statement, Jagodowski wrote that Fleming-Pancione has a drug problem and that he admitted to robbing the TD Bank in Brattleboro.
"Shayne told me that he owed some people that he had to pay off and ... told me that he got a couple of grand for the bank robbery," Jagodowski wrote. "After the bank robbery, Shayne printed about $200 worth of fake $20 bills over the course of like two days."
When Jagodowski saw the counterfeit bills printed on sheets of paper, he wrote that he knew the situation was bad.
"I told Shayne that he really needed to get into detox because this was ridiculous," Jagodowski wrote. "I know that Shayne is good intentioned with bad desires."
Since 1997, Fleming-Pancione has been arrested many times and prosecuted in Massachusetts State Court for the possession of heroin and cocaine.
In April, 2005, he was sentenced to serve seven to 10 years in prison for what appeared to be two separate armed robberies.
Fleming-Pancione is currently being held at Hampshire County Correctional Facility in Northhampton, Mass.
Deputy State's Attorney, David Gartenstein, said the state filed a probable cause affidavit and an arrest warrant for Fleming-Pancione was issued by the court and lodged as a detainer in Massachusetts.
He added that extradition to Vermont has been approved and when the District of Massachusetts is ready to release Fleming-Pancione, further procedures will be necessary to extradite him.
Josh Stilts can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 802-254-2311 ext. 273.