A bank robber pleaded guilty on Wednesday to charges including conspiracy to commit bank burglary and arson on property used in interstate commerce and faces five and a half years in prison, officials said.
Carl Paschall Sr., 54, of Halethorpe, Maryland, led a group of criminals, which included his son, Carl Paschall Jr. and several others, in a plan to burglarize commercial properties in Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania between November 2010 and July 2013.
“The conspirators stole cash, money orders, stamps, silver bars, jewelry, cigarettes, lottery tickets, prescription drugs, food, beverages, safes, laptop computers, cell phones, electronics, vehicles and other valuable items from gas stations, convenience stores, banks, credit unions and other commercial establishments during the night,” the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said in a statement.
The group also targeted ATMs. Usually waiting until the cover of dark, the men would cut power and phone lines in addition to other wires before entering a business to ransack it for loot.
In May 2012, the group stole a new Ford E250 panel van from a rental car office in Martinsburg, West Virginia, and used it to commit three commercial burglaries there, the ATF said. During the early morning hours of June 1, 2012, the Howard County Fire and Rescue Department responded to a call reporting a vehicle fire on the side of the road. It had appeared that Paschall and his cohorts ditched the van and lit it aflame to destroy any evidence left behind. Law enforcement investigators found stolen safes and lottery tickets in the charred van.
Paschal admitted to stealing more than $800,000 in cash and property from his heists.
Paschal Jr. is also looking at five and a half years and a $200,000 restitution fine. The Paschalls and the other men implicated in the conspiracy will be sentenced in December 2015.