Harrisonburg bank robber pleads guilty
Charles Hood Stole More Than $15,000 from First Citizen Bank in January 2022
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - A Harrisonburg, Virginia man, who used a BB gun to rob First Citizen Bank in Harrisonburg on January 4, 2022, pled guilty Tuesday to federal armed bank robbery charges.
62-year-old Charles Joseph Hood pled guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg to one count of armed bank robbery. Hood faces up to 25 years in prison.
According to court documents, on January 4, 2022, Hood walked into First Citizen Bank on University Boulevard in Harrisonburg wearing a dark mask, sunglasses, a dark hat, a wig, and brown work boots. He approached a manager of the bank and inquired about opening an account.
Hood provided the manager with a red makeshift bag and a gray glove. He then instructed the manager to put on the glove and to put cash in the bag. At this time, Hood brandished what appeared to be a firearm but was later found to be a Daisy Powerline 426 .177 caliber BB gun, court documents say.
Hood then directed the manager from his office to the area behind the teller station, all while carrying the BB gun. There were two tellers behind the counter. Hood told the manager to retrieve large bills only, no dye packs, and not to trigger the bank’s alarm system.
The manager and two tellers separately collected cash and placed it in the bag provided by Hood. In all, $15,908 was placed inside the red bag. During the encounter, one of the tellers pressed the bank’s silent alarm system alerting law enforcement.
Hood retrieved the bag and exited the bank, walked around the corner, got onto a bicycle, and rode away. Approximately a half-mile away, Hood discarded the bike, wig, and his outer jacket, walked into a restaurant, entered the bathroom, and lifted an oil painting on the wall.
He placed the BB gun behind the painting where it was out of view and undetectable. He then walked to the nearby Walmart Supercenter where he discarded his work boots and put on a pair of gray shoes he purchased.
Outside, Hood attempted to call a taxi, according to court documents.
Meanwhile, the Harrisonburg Police Department had responded to the silent alarm and were in the area searching for individuals who matched Hood’s description. An officer, seeing Hood outside the Walmart, approached him. Hood began to walk away from the officer, telling the officer his wife was in labor before eventually running away from the officer.
When officers detained Hood they found a red bag stuffed into his pants that contained $15,606 in cash and a gray glove that matched the one left with the bank manager.
Hood is scheduled to be sentenced on November 8, 2022 and faces up to 25 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh and Stanley M. Meador, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division made the announcement.
The Harrisonburg Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are investigating the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sean Welsh and Jordan E. McKay are prosecuting the case.
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