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Special to Franklin County Free Press

HARRISBURG – A Maryland man has been sentenced to almost 3 1/2 years in a federal penitentiary for robbing banks in Blue Ridge Summit and Fairfield last year.

Jacob Charles LaFrance, 29, of Thurmont, Maryland, was sentenced to 41 months imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release. 

The sentence was handed down by United States District Court Judge Yvette Kane on Monday.

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LaFrance was also ordered to pay $6,114 in restitution.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, LaFrance committed the armed robberies of the following banks:

  • M&T Bank, Blue Ridge Summit, Franklin County, on May 3, 2018 | Total stolen $1,848
  • PNC Bank, Fairfield, Adams County, on April 25, 2018 | Total stole $4,266
Bank Surveillance Photo of 2018 Armed Bank Robbery at Blue Ridge Summit
Bank Surveillance Photo of 2018 Armed Robbery at Blue Ridge Summit

In the Blue Ridge Summit robbery, Washington Township police were dispatched to M&T Bank on Monterey Lane, at about 2:11 p.m. May 3 for a report of an armed robbery.

Nine days earlier a similar armed robbery had occurred just across the county line in Adams County.

In that robbery, security footage from the bank showed Lafrance passing the bank in a vehicle at 1:35 p.m., then sitting on a nearby bridge for a while before going inside and holing up the bank at gunpoint.

Carrol Valley Police investigator used that footage and located a social media account for Lafrance which showed pictures of him wearing a backpack, cap, and boots similar to those worn by the robber.

That led investigators to get a search warrant for Lafrance’s home and car where a backpack, sweatshirt, cap and boots matching the ones worn by the robber were found.

Investigators also recovered a pellet gun resembling a real gun in that search.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of the Frederick County (MD) Sheriff’s Office, the Carroll Valley Borough Police, and the Washington Township Police Department

Assistant United States Attorney James T. Clancy prosecuted the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. 

The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

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