BANGOR, Maine — The man accused of robbing a downtown credit union May 25 pleaded not guilty Monday in U.S. District Court.
Thaddeus Peter McDonald, 32, of Augusta was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury in Bangor in connection with a robbery at the Penobscot County Federal Credit Union, whose entrance is almost hidden underneath the Merchants Plaza building, of more than $6,000.
His trial was scheduled tentatively for Sept. 6.
McDonald agreed earlier this month to be held without bail until his case is resolved.
He was charged July 7 by federal authorities after originally being charged in state court.
McDonald told Bangor detectives that he committed the crime on impulse after recent traumas in his life, including the death of his wife and the loss of his children, and desperation.
He did not use a gun and did not threaten violence, according to the complaint filed in federal court. He told Bangor police that he is on probation for aggravated forgery and has convictions on his record for burglary and statutory rape.
McDonald went into the credit union and at first asked for a withdrawal slip, according to an affidavit filed in state court. When the clerk asked for an account number, McDonald allegedly said, “How about you give me all the money in that drawer?”
“[The clerk] stated at first that he thought the male was joking and laughed,” wrote Smith. “The male then stated, ‘I’m serious.’ [The clerk] realized that he was and started to unload his drawer.”
After the clerk had pulled some of the cash from the drawer, McDonald interrupted him by saying, “That’s good,” before fleeing from the bank and removing a black sweatshirt outside.
Affidavits filed by several Bangor officers explained how McDonald used some of the cash to first secure a room at the Charles Inn and then hired a driver with Town Taxi for a more than $200 ride to Augusta. Based on information from a witness, police stopped the taxi near mile marker 180 on southbound Interstate 95 and apprehended McDonald without incident.
If convicted, McDonald faces up to 20 years in prison. Because of his criminal record, McDonald could be ruled a “career criminal” and face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.