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Harveys Lake man pleads guilty in three bank robberies

February 20. 2013 2:09AM
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WILKES-BARRE – A Harveys Lake man accused of using a balloon filled with ammonia and a pellet gun to rob three banks pleaded guilty Monday to related charges in Luzerne County Court.

Judge Michael Vough accepted the guilty plea of Girard John Kalinay, 56, of Pine Street, whom state police at Wyoming and Shickshinny accused of robbing the Luzerne National Bank in Dallas Township, First Liberty Bank and Trust in Noxen, Wyoming County, and a branch of PNC Bank in Mocanaqua.

Kalinay crashed a motorcycle he used after robbing the PNC Bank branch on May 4.

State police said Kalinay told them he robbed the three banks because he was having money problems.

Vough said Kalinay will be sentenced March 26.

According to the criminal complaint:

Kalinay entered Luzerne National Bank on Nov. 22, 2011. He propped open the front door with a tree branch and held a shopping bag with a balloon. He told the bank manager the balloon was filled with acid and tossed it at the bank manager.

Dallas Township police said the balloon was filled with ammonia.

Investigators said Kalinay on Jan. 27, 2012, also robbed the First Liberty Bank. After he threatened tellers with what turned out to be a pellet gun, Kalinay fled, the complaint says.

Before robbing the PNC Bank branch in Mocanaqua on May 4, investigators said Kalinay stole a 1999 Dodge Dakota from a used-car dealer in Dallas Township. He abandoned the truck when he struck a deer on state Route 29.

In the complaint, investigators wrote that Kalinay walked home and drove his motorcycle to work near Tamaqua, where he left early and robbed the Mocanaqua PNC Bank. He crashed on state Route 239 while driving away from the bank, state police said.

Kalinay remains free on bail. He was represented by attorney William Ruzzo.

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