Bank robbery case dropped
‘It is unlikely that she did it’
— Prosecutors have dropped their criminal case against a woman accused of robbing a bank in downtown Rising Sun in January because it appears that investigators arrested and charged the wrong person.
Assistant State’s Attorney Kevin B. Urick dismissed charges of armed robbery, robbery and theft of more than $1,000 and less than $10,000 against the defendant, Lindsey Michelle Palmer, 36, of Conowingo, during a courtroom hearing Wednesday.
“When the final evidence exchange between the state and defense occurred, it was evident that the state did not have the evidence to meet its burden of proof, to the prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt,” Urick said, adding, “You can never be absolutely certain of someone’s innocence, but I think it is unlikely that she (Palmer) did it.”
Elkton-based lawyer H. Norman Wilson represented Palmer. Wilson could not be reached at his office Thursday afternoon for comment.
Because the investigation into the armed robbery at 11:20 a.m. on Jan. 20 at
the PNC Bank at 101 E. Main St. will resume now, in light of the latest development, prosecutors declined to specify the evidence that led to the dropping of all charges against Palmer.
Urick did report that the state lacked fingerprints and DNA evidence.
Sgt. Christopher Tserkis Sr., of the Rising Sun Police Department, investigated the bank robbery, according to Cecil County District and Circuit Court records.
RSPD Chief Francis “Chip” Peterson commented Thursday, “The investigation will continue. It is not a dead issue. Names and addresses of suspects and people of interest come and go during any investigation. We will continue to investigate until we make an apprehension.”
Tserkis had reported in court documents that the suspect approached the teller and then “unraveled the piece of paper, being a note that demanded money and (stated) she was in possession of a gun.”
The investigator also reported in those court papers, “Although the note stated the suspect was in possession of a handgun, no handgun was ever displayed at the scene, only implied.”
The teller took approximately $2,000 from the cash drawer and handed it to the suspect, who, after folding the bills and putting them in her purse, walked out of the bank and was last seen fleeing on foot up North Walnut Street, according to court records.
Those court documents indicate that teller surrendered the money to the suspect because he was “fearing for his safety and the safety of others.”
A bank surveillance camera videotaped the suspect during the robbery and investigators distributed a photo gleaned from that footage, asking the public to help detectives identify the woman, police said at the time. The Maryland Association for Bank Security offered a $5,000 reward for information that would lead to an arrest and conviction, police added.
Investigators interviewed every patron and employee who was inside the bank at the time of the robbery and received descriptions of the suspect, police reported.
A branch manager told Tserkis that “their bank had just been robbed by a Middle Eastern looking descent female,” at the outset of the investigation, according to court records made public in late January.
Police reported that the suspect was wearing a “purple head wrap, blue jeans and a purple coat.”
Some 30 minutes after the robbery, at the RSPD station, investigators showed a photo lineup consisting of six pictures showing “females of similar height, weight, age and complexion of Lindsay Palmer” to the teller who had surrendered the money to the suspect after receiving the note, police reported at the time.
“( The teller) immediately gave a positive identification of Lindsay Palmer in the lineup as the female who robbed PNC Bank,” court records alleged at the time.
Also at that time, police al- leged that the bank employee made that positive identification with “extreme certainty,” and that Palmer matched the PNC Bank surveillance footage obtained from PNC Bank Security.
Some six hours after the bank robbery, Tserkis received an “anonymous tip stating the Lindsey Palmer matched the descrip- tion of the bank robber,” according to court records released shortly after Palmer’s arrest, which occurred some nine days after the incident.
Palmer remained in the Cecil County Detention Center for about a week, before she was released after posting a $49,000 bond, court records show.
Crystal Horsts takes the golf cart and her youngest child past the custom dairy heifers to check on her husband, Galen, at the family’s farm on England Creamery Road in Zion.
This surveillance photo shows the suspect who robbed the PNC Bank in Rising Sun on Jan. 20. It played a role in investigators identifying a Conowingo woman as the suspect and arresting her. But on Wednesday, citing a lack of evidence, prosecutors dropped their case against that woman.