HARRISBURG - The McAlisterville man recently charged in a string of robberies, will be prosecuted by the United States Attorney's Office.
Richard Lockett was charged in an federal indictment Wednesday for robberies that occurred on Oct. 22, at the First National Bank in Thompsontown, Oct. 27, at the Juniata Valley Bank in Port Royal and on Nov. 5, at the Swineford National Bank in Beaver Springs.
All told, Richard L. Lockett allegedly stole more than $20,000 from three different banks over a period of nearly 30 days to support a drug habit, police said.
A grand jury in Harrisburg indicted 38-year-old Lockett on three counts of bank robbery. If convicted, Lockett faces a maximum of 60 years imprisonment and fines of up to $750,000.
Juniata County District Attorney Cory Snook said he was recently informed the U.S. Attorney's Office would be indicting Lockett and, once he receives formal notice of the indictment, his office would withdraw the robbery charges filed locally. However, Lockett could still be prosecuted in Juniata County for the lesser offenses he allegedly committed during the robbery spree, such as theft and receiving stolen property.
According to court documents, once Lockett was apprehended he confessed to the robberies after requesting to speak with two FBI field agents.
Lockett also confessed to stealing a Ford Escort from Lewistown, which he used in the commission of two of the robberies, police said.
Police first began to zero in on Lockett as a suspect after Juniata County Probation Officer Abby Krepps told investigators she had received an anonymous phone call from someone who claimed Lockett was spending large amounts of money on drugs, and bragging about stealing cars.
Shortly thereafter, Lockett's nephew, Jesse Michalchic was interviewed by police and told investigators he believed Lockett had committed the robberies, according to court documents.
Michalchic was shown surveillance photographs of the bank robberies, which reinforced his belief it was Lockett who committed the robberies, police said. The robber never displayed a weapon when he demanded cash from tellers, court documents indicate.
On the morning of Oct. 27, Lockett contacted Michalchic requesting a ride from the Giant Food store in Newport to Harrisburg. During the course of the drive, Lockett removed a large sum of cash from his pants pocket, police said.
After arriving in Harrisburg, Michalchic saw Lockett remove another large sum of cash from a purse he had been carrying around with him. Michalchic said Lockett gave him $300 for the ride to Harrisburg, court documents indicate.
Lockett was arrested on Nov. 16, at Rebecca Powell's residence in Lewistown along South Pine Road. Powell was interviewed and told investigators Lockett had been in possession of a large amount of cash and had given her $1,000 to hold, which she later wired to him while he was in Harrisburg.
Powell also told investigators Lockett had been acting strange and was using heroin, court documents state.
Lockett was then transported to Lewistown Borough Police Department for questioning, where he was provided a Rights and Warning Waiver, which he signed and then requested to speak with field agents from the FBI.
During the course of the investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police were assisted by the FBI, Lewistown Police Department, Mifflin County Regional Police Department and the Granville Township Police Department.
Lockett remains incarcerated in the Mifflin County Correctional Facility in lieu of $300,000 bail.