HANOVER TWP. — Alleged bank robbers Derek Spaide and Gerald Pambianco were very talkative Monday morning.
Spaide, 26, complained to a Times Leader reporter about his grandmother becoming upset at stories about him. Pambianco, 29, is hoping for a prison term — if imposed — which would allow him to be home when he is in his late 30s.
Township police transported Spaide and Pambianco from the Luzerne County Correctional Facility to be arraigned on charges they ransacked a house on South Main Street in Askam on May 16.
A firearm allegedly stolen from the house was used by Spaide to rob a branch of Luzerne National Bank in Plains Township later that same day, court records say.
About one hour after the bank heist, the duo were caught following a high-speed highway pursuit and a brief foot chase on the North Cross Valley Expressway.
Authorities allegedly discovered items stolen from the Askam house and a residence in Salem Township in the get-away vehicle.
“Why you guys keep following me, it’s upsetting my grandmother,” Spaide said to a Times Leader reporter. Spaide also directed derogatory comments to a female photographer, and pledged he is going to force county sheriff deputies to carry him the next time he appears in county court.
Pambianco was more subdued, hoping to be sentenced to 11 to 20 years in prison, allowing him to possibly be released by the time he turns 40.
According to the criminal complaints filed Monday:
Township police investigated a burglary at a house in the 2000 block of South Main Street just after 12:30 p.m. A homeowner claimed she left for work at 8:10 a.m., and returned home to discover the front door was forced open, and numerous televisions, electronics and three firearms were stolen.
A neighbor reported seeing two men in a red Honda park in a driveway at about 9 a.m.
Authorities allege Spaide and Pambianco also ransacked a house on Confers Lane in Salem Township, stealing televisions, video game systems, electronics and coin collections.
Court papers allege Spaide and Pambianco decided to rob the bank because they were not satisfied with getting any cash from the two houses.
Hours after ransacking the houses, they drove to a parking lot on Route 315 in Plains Township and planned to rob Luzerne Bank.
Authorities allege Pambianco decided to be the get-away driver and covered the license plate on the Honda and Spaide entered the bank with a rifle stolen from the Hanover Township house.
Spaide and Pambianco allegedly switched their shoes as Spaide was concerned his white and black sneakers could be identified.
After the bank robbery, Pittston Township police spotted the Honda on Interstate 81. A pursuit followed that ended with a police induced crash on the North Cross Valley Expressway, court records say.
Spaide and Pambianco were indicated by a federal grand jury on May 23 on bank robbery charges. They are scheduled to appear in federal court on Tuesday.
Township police charged Spaide and Pambianco with burglary, theft, criminal trespass, criminal mischief and five counts of criminal conspiracy. They were arraigned by District Judge Joseph Halesey and remanded to jail for lack of $425,000 bail each.