Two alleged bank robbers indicted by federal grand jury

By Ed Lewis - [email protected]
Spaide and Pambianco -

A federal grand jury in Scranton has indicted two men on allegations they conspired to rob a branch of Luzerne National Bank in Plains Township.

Gerald Pambianco, 29, and Derek Spaide, 26, were arrested by a team of Plains Township police and state police on May 16 following a several mile pursuit that ended with a pit maneuver on the North Cross Valley Expressway, about one hour after the bank heist.

The indictment alleges Spaide covered his face with a T-shirt and entered the bank along state Route 315 armed with a rifle which he aimed at a bank employee, demanding money.

Spaide ran out of the bank with a bag full of cash and got into a vehicle driven by Pambianco, the indictment alleges.

Court papers filed after their arrest say Pambianco covered the license plate of the vehicle prior to the robbery.

A Pittston Township police officer reported spotting the vehicle northbound on Interstate 81 and attempted to pull the car over, but the driver — allegedly Pambianco — would not stop.

Pambianco turned around at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport and headed back south on 81, turning onto the North Cross Valley Expressway where he and Spaide were captured after the police induced crash.

The federal grand jury indicted Pambianco and Spaide each with criminal conspiracy to commit a violent crime while carrying or brandishing a firearm, bank robbery, bank robbery while carrying or brandishing a firearm, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Pambianco and Spaide have been jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $350,000 total bail each.

After their arrest, authorities allege they recovered three .22-caliber rifles in the vehicle, along with items stolen during burglaries from two houses.

One of the houses was on Confers Lane in Salem Township, which police in Salem Township said occurred after 7 a.m. and before 1 p.m. the same day of the bank heist.

Items allegedly stolen from the Salem Township house were recovered in the vehicle, court records say.

Pambianco, of Crow Street, Plains Township, and Spaide, of South Main Street, Hanover Township, have not been charged for the second burglary, which is believed to have taken place in Hanover Township.

After their arrest, Pambianco and Spaide allegedly told Plains Township police they decided to rob a bank because they didn’t get any cash during the home burglaries.

Spaide and Pambianco and Pambianco

By Ed Lewis

[email protected]