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Feds crack 2011 heist at New Haven bank

Two Allen County men are in custody on federal bank robbery charges, accused of the October 2011 robbery of a New Haven bank.

Matthew Lester Vanschoick, 28, and Michael Clayton Bure, 27, are charged in a federal criminal complaint with robbing the PNC Bank, 411 Lincoln Highway West in New Haven, at gunpoint.

According to court documents, Vanschoick is accused of robbing the bank, while Bure waited outside in a getaway vehicle.

They made off with a little more than $2,000 – and used the money to buy presents for their children and a Bible for a friend.

Even though the robbery is nearly 18 months old, FBI officials said the arrests stand as evidence that these investigations continue.

“These arrests should be a message to all Allen County bank robbers that we continue to aggressively pursue bank robbery investigations regardless of how long ago they occurred,” said Dave Crawford, supervisory senior resident agent for the FBI’s Fort Wayne office.

Court documents paint a detailed picture of the robbery itself, and the lengths to which the two men went to try to cover their tracks.

Vanschoick entered the bank, wearing a mask, a handgun visible to some tellers, and demanded “fifties and hundreds.”

“I wasn’t kidding, hurry, hurry,” Vanschoick said, according to court documents. “This isn’t a joke.”

After he left the bank, Vanschoick ran across the street and into another neighborhood, according to court documents.

Railroad workers saw him climb into the trunk of a waiting Ford Taurus, driven by a man now identified as Bure, according to court documents.

A woman identified later as Vanschoick’s girlfriend was a passenger in the car.

When investigators interviewed the woman in February, she said she and Vanschoick lived with Bure in an apartment on Tennessee Avenue. She said that on Oct. 28, 2011, the two men used her car to drive Bure to a doctor’s appointment in Auburn. They were supposed to drop her off at their apartment, but they told her it was getting late and they “had something to do,” according to court documents.

They pulled into a parking lot near the bank and Vanschoick told her he loved her, tied a mask around his face and walked across the street to the bank. Bure then parked the car near some railroad tracks, and told the woman to “get down” in the front seat, according to court documents.

She said she felt a thud in the trunk, and then they drove toward Fort Wayne. Near the city limits, Vanschoick climbed into the car from the trunk, with a plastic bag full of money and a plastic BB gun. The two men argued about the amount of money, and then ditched the car.

It took them three hours to walk back to their Tennessee Avenue apartment, according to court documents.

While they walked, they discussed their alibi. The woman was to have been sick all day and report the car stolen, which she did. Bure said he had a doctor’s appointment, according to court documents.

The men used the money to buy clothes, prepaid phones, items for their children and a Bible for the woman, according to court documents.

They were scheduled to appear in court Wednesday afternoon.

The bank robbery was investigated by the New Haven Police Department, the FBI Fort Wayne Safe Streets Task Force, and the FBI Northeast Indiana Federal Bank Robbery Task Force. Both task forces are composed of FBI agents and officers from the Indiana State Police, the Allen County Police Department, and the Fort Wayne Police Department, according to a release from the FBI.

Anyone with information about bank robberies is asked to call 426-5331. Financial rewards are available for information in some instances.

rgreen@jg.net

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