MIFFLINTOWN - A 38-year-old McAlisterville man accused of robbing three banks, allegedly confessed after recently speaking with two FBI field agents.
All told, Richard L. Lockett stole over $20,000 from three different banks over a period of nearly 30 days to support a drug habit, police said.
It remains unclear at this time whether any of the cash was recovered by investigators.
Lockett confessed to committing the unarmed robberies of the First National Bank in Thompsontown on Oct. 22, the Juniata Valley Bank in Port Royal on Oct. 27 and the Swineford National Bank in Beaver Springs on Nov. 5, court documents indicate.
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 believe it was Lockett who committed the robberies, police said.
On the morning of Oct. 27, Lockett contacted Michalchic requesting a ride from the Newport Giant Food Store 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 state police were assisted by field agents from the FBI, Lewistown Borough Police Department, Mifflin County Regional Police and the Granville Township Police Department.
Lockett was charged with three counts of robbery, one count of criminal attempted robbery, one count of theft by unlawful taking and one count of receiving stolen property.
Lockett was arraigned at Magisterial District Judge Barb Lyter's office and placed in the Mifflin County Correctional Facility in lieu of $300,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 28, and Lockett is represented by Steven Manbeck.