$1 million bail for man accused in Hanover standoff, arson and robberies

  • The man accused in a Hanover standoff and four robberies was remanded to York County Prison in lieu of $1 million bail.
  • James Brown Jr., 49, allegedly robbed two Rutter's stores and two banks.
  • Police say Brown locked himself in a Hanover residence and started a fire.
  • Brown's formal arraignment is scheduled for next month.

The man accused in a Hanover standoff last month and multiple robberies is now behind bars in lieu of $1 million bail.

James Allen Brown Jr., 49, of the 600 block of York Street, allegedly robbed convenience stores in Hanover and Penn Township and banks in Hanover and Spring Grove.

After the robbery in Spring Grove, Brown locked himself in a house in Hanover and set a fire, court documents state.

James Brown Jr.

Southwestern Regional Police, which has jurisdiction in Spring Grove, and Penn Township Police both waived their respective cases to Hanover Police.

Hanover Police initially charged Brown with robbery of the Members 1st Credit Union on Aug. 7. However, those charges were withdrawn on Sept. 1.

His latest charges were filed that day, which included all the robberies and the standoff, according to documents.

He was arraigned on the charges on Tuesday, Sept. 12, by District Judge Dwayne Dubs and remanded to York County Prison in lieu of $1 million bail.

Convenience stores: Hanover Police say Brown robbed the Rutter's at 661 Broadway just before midnight on Aug. 6. 

Brown asked for change, and when the cashier opened the drawer, police say Brown said, "I will pop your ass with this 9 mm if you don't open the drawer now."

A gun was never displayed, but the cashier told police the threat was convincing enough for her to open the drawer and give him the money, court documents state. About $110 was stolen, documents state.

Police say he then robbed the Rutter's at 1009 York St. in Penn Township at about 12:20 a.m. Aug. 7.

Brown told that cashier to move and open the drawer, court documents state.

He said he "wasn't playing," and he had a pistol, according to police. Brown reached over the counter and took about $300 before leaving, police said.

Hanover Borough Police released this surveillance photo of the man who robbed the Members 1st Federal Credit Union at 1221 Carlisle St. in the borough on Monday, Aug. 7, 2017. 
Police said he is James Allen Brown Jr., and that he caused a lengthy police standoff after fleeing the bank, which ended when the home he had holed up in caught fire.

Banks: At about 9:20 a.m. that day, Brown robbed the Members 1st Credit Union at 1221 Carlisle St. in Hanover, court documents allege.

Police say he approached a teller and handed her a note, which stated "give me all the money in your drawer or die now."

After getting the money, he told her she could keep the note, and he left both his license and Social Security card on the counter, police said.

He stole about $1,980 from the bank, documents state.

Police say Brown then robbed the M&T Bank at 33 Roth's Church Road at about 1:20 p.m.

Brown lifted his shirt as if to show a weapon and told the teller to give him the money, police said. She was not getting the money fast enough for him, court documents state, so he reached over the counter and took all the money in her hands.

He then left the bank with about $940, police said. He left behind his wallet, which had various cards in it that identified Brown, according to court documents.

Southwestern Regional Police said this man robbed the M&T Bank on Roths Church Road in Spring Grove on Monday, Aug. 7, 2017. It's believed he is James Allen Brown Jr., accused of robbing a Hanover bank the same day and who police said caused a standoff that ended when he apparently torched the house where he'd holed up.

Standoff: Hanover Police found Brown's vehicle, a blue Chevrolet van, as it pulled into a parking lot in the 400 block of Pleasant Street in Hanover at about 1:50 p.m., police said.

Brown fled from the vehicle and then into a residence in that block, documents state. 

A passenger, who was not named, was in the vehicle as well, and police detained him. 

Two others were inside the home where Brown had gone into, according to police. One of the residents managed to escape and was detained by police as well, court documents state.

Brown, still inside, refused to surrender, and he claimed he had a firearm, according to police.

The York County Quick Response Team arrived and they tried to get him to peacefully exit the home. Police say a fire then began in the living room.

Not long after that, Brown emerged from a window in the residence and was taken into custody, police said.

More:Police: Hanover robber held cops at bay, likely set house fire

Interviews: Police spoke with the two residents in the home and the passenger in Brown's vehicle.

One resident said she was awakened by a bull horn and found Brown in her residence smoking what looked to be crack cocaine, police allege.

She tried getting Brown to leave, but he wouldn't, which is why she then exited the home, police said.

The passenger in Brown's car told police that Brown owed him money for drugs, and that Brown claimed he would pay him $4,500 of $5,000 Brown had from an accident settlement, officials said. Messages on the passenger's phone confirmed his story, police said.

The passenger said he went with Brown to both banks but never went inside with him, charging documents allege. He told Brown to hold onto the money until they returned to the passenger's residence, police said.

That's when they encountered Hanover officers, charging documents state.

More:$1 million bail for 'known burglar' suspected in York County break-ins

Brown: Police say Brown was taken to York Hospital for his injuries after the standoff. While there, he told police that he robbed one of the Rutter's and both banks, documents state.

He also admitted to putting a blanket over himself and setting it on fire, police said.

Police spoke with Brown on Aug. 14, and he again admitted to robbing both banks, according to police. He said one of the residents and the passenger in his car forced him to do it, documents allege.

He then denied robbing both the Rutter's stores, but when he was told police have surveillance footage of the robberies, he said "then it was me," police said.

He said he didn't remember it because he smoked crack cocaine for about nine hours, charging documents state.

Brown also confirmed it was "possible" he set the fire to try and hurt himself, according to police.

He is charged with four counts each of robbery, terroristic threats, theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property and one count each of arson and recklessly endangering another person.

Brown has waived his preliminary hearing, and he is scheduled to be formally arraigned on the charges 9 a.m. Oct. 20 in front of Common Pleas Judge Michael Bortner.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.