Meadville Tribune

February 7, 2013

Accused Park Ave. Plaza bank robber arraigned

By Keith Gushard

VERNON TOWNSHIP — VERNON TOWNSHIP — A preliminary hearing is scheduled for next week for the Erie man accused of robbing the First Niagara Bank branch in Vernon Township of more than $2,400 back in November.

Michael A. Schuler, 28, of 4109 Wagner St., Erie, was formally arraigned Wednesday morning before Magisterial District Judge Michael Rossi on Vernon Township Police charges of robbery, theft by unlawful and receiving stolen property.

He is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on the charges before Rossi on Feb. 15 at 9 a.m.

Schuler is accused by police of taking $2,463 in a midday holdup on Nov. 30 at the bank branch in the Park Avenue Plaza. Police allege Schuler approached a bank teller and presented a note demanding money. Police allege Schuler didn’t show a weapon.

Schuler also has been charged in Erie County on charges for allegedly robbing a PNC Bank branch on East 38th Street in Erie on Dec. 18. He was being held in the Erie County Prison when Vernon Police formally filed charges on Schuler on Feb. 1 with Rossi’s office.

Chief Randy Detzel of Vernon Police said bringing charges against Schuler was a joint effort among law enforcement in northwest Pennsylvania and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“We had the surveillance video that we shared with the FBI, and we worked with Erie PD (Police Department), too,” Detzel said. “It was a huge help.”

Rossi set Schuler’s bond in the Vernon Township case at $65,000, but Schuler was returned to the Erie County Prison following Wednesday’s brief arraignment hearing.



Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at kgushard@meadvilletribune.com.