Police: Man tries to rob bank of $1 in prison bid

NORTHERN CAMBRIA, Pa. — A man tried to rob a Pennsylvania bank of $1 because he hoped to be sent to a federal prison nearby, police said.

Jeffrey McMullen, a 50-year-old regular customer of an AmeriServ bank in the western Pennsylvania town of Northern Cambria, handed notes to two tellers Friday demanding a dollar, according to a police complaint reported by The Tribune-Democrat of Johnstown.

The tellers thought it was a joke, police said. He then spoke with a new accounts employee and repeated he was robbing the bank for a buck.

Police say McMullen apparently wanted to be prosecuted federally so he could be taken to a prison in central Pennsylvania. Police could not immediately say why.

McMullen awaits a preliminary hearing, and court records didn’t list an attorney. Under terms set by a Northern Cambria district judge, he must undergo a mental evaluation and post $50,000 bail in order to win release from jail.

One note given to tellers said, “FBI custody. Preferbly (sic) Loretto Pa. No press. Seal all files,” according to the complaint. Police took that to be a request that McMullen hoped authorities would not publicize his case. The other said, “Federal bank robbery. Please hand over $1.00.”

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