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Police & Fire

FAMILY AFFAIR: Philly Man Admits Attempted Armed Bucks County Bank Robbery With Sons

PNC Bank on Buck Road in Holland, PA.
PNC Bank on Buck Road in Holland, PA. Photo Credit: Google Maps

A Philadelphia man admitted to an attempted armed bank robbery in Bucks County in which his two sons were his accomplices, authorities said.

In Jan. 2018, Ronald DeWitt Vines, 47, was charged by Indictment for attempting to commit armed robbery of the PNC Bank branch on Buck Road in Holland in late 2017, according to Acting United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams.

On the day of the incident, Vines placed a handgun against the side of a bank employee’s head, forcing her to open the bank door as she arrived for work that morning, and then forcing her inside the bank, authorities said.

A second bank employee screamed when she realized the bank was being robbed, Williams said.

Vines and his accomplices, sons Elijah and Solomon Vines, quickly fled the bank in a getaway car before being stopped by Northampton Township police officers responding to a 911 call, authorities said.

A search of the getaway vehicle turned up one loaded semi-automatic handgun, one loaded rifle, and two body armor vests, Williams said.

The bank has since shuttered, according to Google.

“This defendant terrified and threatened the lives of bank employees who were just attempting to do their jobs, and he convinced his sons – young men with their whole lives ahead of them – to help him pull it off,” Williams said.

“The simple fact is that this family is a danger to the community. This case demonstrates why our All Hands On Deck initiative is so important: we are investigating and prosecuting the most violent criminals to get them off the streets and behind bars.”

“The terror of being forced into her bank at gunpoint is something that employee will likely never forget,” said Bradley S. Benavides, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division.

“Ronald Vines and his accomplice planned to rob a bank. It’s incredibly fortunate no one was hurt before the robbers opted to flee, and that police officers quickly spotted and stopped their getaway vehicle. Bank robbery isn’t an easy payday, it’s a federal crime, and the FBI and our partners will ensure perpetrators like Vines are held fully accountable.”

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Northampton Township Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney José R. Arteaga.

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