Police: No getaway attempt by homeless bank robber

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

An out-of-state homeless man apparently robbed a York Township bank last week merely to get arrested, according to police, who accommodated him.

Thomas M. Spuehler, 46, told police he was hungry, homeless and didn't know what else to do, charging documents state.

He is now in York County Prison on $250,000 bail, charged with bank robbery, theft and receiving stolen property.

Thomas Spuehler

York Area Regional Police Officer Curtis Hempfing got to the Wells Fargo Bank at 2099 S. Queen St. at 4:41 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1 — about a minute after 911 dispatchers broadcast the robbery over police radios.

Hempfing noticed a man he later determined to be Spuehler sitting in a grassy strip along South Queen Street near the bank, with his head down, according to charging documents.

'Pile' of cash: Next to Spuehler, the officer spotted a "pile of cash" wrapped in brown cardboard, which is when Hempfing took the man into custody and put him in the back of his cruiser, documents state.

The piece of cardboard with the pile of cash had a handwritten note on it in ink that read, "Give me all your money," which is the same note the Wells Fargo teller reported being handed, documents state.

A teller gave Spuehler $886, after which he walked out of the bank and sat down, police said. The teller later positively identified him as the robber, according to charging documents.

Spuehler said he came from Oklahoma, had only been in York for a few days and was homeless, police said.

More:York County bank robbers got 'shock of their lives' at sentencing

'He was hungry': He then admitted to robbing the Wells Fargo, according to police.

"He stated that he was hungry and didn't know what else to do. He stated that he thought it was the right thing to do," Hempfing wrote. "He cried as we spoke."

The officer also wrote in charging documents, "it was my belief that he robbed the bank with the specific intention of getting apprehended by police. He made no effort to escape after the offense."

It is unclear whether Spuehler has retained an attorney.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.