Local charges withdrawn, federal filed in bank robbery case

October 7, 2019 Cranberry Local News

CRANBERRY TWP — Federal charges have been filed against a township man accused of robbing a bank on Route 19.

In August, Michael Neppach, 40, was arrested a little more than 24 hours after allegedly robbing the PNC Bank branch in the township. He was charged by Cranberry Township police with felony robbery with threat of immediate serious injury, theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property.

According to the affidavit, police responded to the PNC Bank branch at 4:50 p.m. Aug. 28 for a report of a robbery.

A man wearing a green baseball cap, long-sleeved camouflage shirt, gray pants, black tennis shoes and clear plastic gloves had entered the bank just minutes prior. The complaint notes that the man was later identified as Neppach.

He handed the teller a letter “stating he had a gun and to not give him dye packs or bait money,” the complaint states. The teller placed $1,394 on the counter, Neppach took the money and left the bank within about two minutes of arriving, according to police.

States police received information identifying Neppach on Aug. 30. He was arrested later that night.

Neppach was scheduled for a preliminary hearing Friday, but charges were withdrawn after he was indicted in U.S. District Court on Oct. 1.

According to U.S. Attorney Scott Brady, the one-count indictment is for a charge of bank robbery.

The law provides for a maximum sentence of not more than 20 years in prison, a fine of not more than $250,000 or both. The seriousness of the offense and any prior criminal history would be taken in to account during sentencing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey R. Bengel is prosecuting the case.

J.W.  Johnson Jr.

J.W. Johnson Jr.

J.W. Johnson Jr. is the bureau chief of the Cranberry Eagle. Johnson is a native of Bellaire, Ohio, and graduated from Bellaire High School in 2004. He is a 2009 graduate of Ohio University in Athens with a bachelor of specialized studies degree in English and journalism. While there, he served as a reporter and editor at The Post, the university’s student-run, independent newspaper. In 2009, he was hired as a reporter for The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register in Wheeling, W.Va. Over the course of eight years, he also served as Marshall County bureau chief, city editor and news editor. He also won two first place West Virginia Press Association Awards for his reporting and design work. He and his wife, Maureen, live in Carnegie.