KOSCIUSKO — A Kendallville man was sentenced in Kosciusko Superior One Court today, April 11, after robbing the Pierceton Lake City Bank in October 2018.
Jeffery Lee Brewer, 35, 403 N. Main St., Apt. A., Kendallville, was charged with robbery, a level 5 felony.
On Oct. 6, 2018, an officer with the Pierceton Police Department responded to a robbery at Lake City Bank. A bank teller advised that a man with a pink backpack gave the teller a note that stated, “Look, put all the money in here now.” The teller put more than $750 into a bag that the male was carrying.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, officers viewed the bank’s surveillance video and identified the man as Brewer. A witness to the robbery advised he saw Brewer enter the bank carrying a pink backpack. The witness observed the suspect hand the backpack to the teller and then run through the lobby and out the door.
Brewer later admitted to officers that he robbed the bank and left in a vehicle.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Brad Voelz read a letter from the bank teller that Brewer approached during the robbery. The letter was written on behalf of all bank employees at the Lake City Bank branch in Pierceton.
“He violated my innocence that day,” the letter said. “Now, ever since this incident, we are constantly on guard. People reaching into bags and purses makes our hearts beat out of our chests and our stomachs drop to the floor. Daily tasks like grocery shopping have become more difficult since this intimidation, and our lives have forever been changed.”
Voelz then reiterated the letter’s point about the employees’ fear.
“These employees now find themselves frightened about situations they have never been scared of before,” said Voelz. “And of course, there were those questions of the unknown on that day. Was there a weapon? Were children in danger? These questions haunt them to this day.”
Defense Attorney Austin Rovenstine said that even though there was no weapon involved, this “was still a tragically stupid action.”
“I apologize to Lake City Bank, its employees, and all the children who were there,” said Brewer. “I take absolute full responsibility for my actions and want to move forward.”
Judge David Cates sentenced Brewer to five years in the Indiana Department of Corrections, with two and one-half years of the sentence suspended on formal probation. Brewer is barred from trespassing on all Lake City Bank locations and must also pay $7,476.48 in restitution. A no-contact order was placed between Brewer and the bank teller.