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Suspect in York bank robbery apprehended within minutes near bank’s parking lot

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YORK — A homeless man was apprehended within minutes of robbing a Wells Fargo Bank Friday afternoon on the 2000 block of S. Queen Street, according to York police.

Thomas Michael Spuehler, 46, no known address, is charged with robbing a financial institution, theft, and receiving stolen property, according to a criminal complaint. Police say Spuehler may have committed the robbery with the specific intention of getting caught, because he was apprehended near the bank parking lot and did not appear to make any attempt to escape.

The incident happened at 1:38 p.m. Police were called to the bank for the report of a robbery. When officers arrived at the scene, the observed a man sitting in a grass strip along S. Queen Street, near the bank. He was seen wearing a black leather jacket, according to police.

As officers neared the bank, York County Control provided a description of the suspect, who was believed to be a white male, possibly in his 50’s, wearing a black leather jacket.

After speaking to bank employees, police quickly determined that the suspect could have been the man seen sitting near the bank. They approached the man, who was still sitting in the grass. As they neared the suspect, police say they observed a wad of cash wrapped in brown cardboard lying next to him. The man was placed in custody.

Police say a bank teller identified the suspect as the man who robbed the bank. The suspect allegedly entered the bank, approached the teller, and displayed a piece of cardboard with the words “Give me all your money” written on it. The teller complied, emptying the top drawer of cash and giving it to him. When the suspect left the bank, the teller said she hit the bank alarm.

In an interview with police, the suspect identified himself as Spuehler and claimed to be from Oklahoma. He allegedly told police he was homeless, had only been in York for a few days, and was hungry. He allegedly admitted to robbing the bank, telling police he didn’t know what else to do.

Police recovered the cash and found the cardboard note Spuehler allegedly displayed to the teller. Bank employees told police the missing amount was $866, which allegedly matched the amount of cash found near Spuehler.

Spuehler was transported to York County Central Booking for processing and arraignment.