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‘I just wanted to help,’ said the man who ID’d getaway car

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 July 2013 at 12:00 am

Submitted photo by Jeff Schuner – This photo shows police officers apprehending Jeremy Rothmund in Holley not long after he allegedly robbed a bank in Albion.

ALBION – An Albion businessman pulled up to the drive-through at about 4 p.m. Tuesday, ready to deposit a check at the Bank of America.

He looked inside the bank window and saw a man wearing sunglasses with a hat on, and an ace bandage wrapped around his chin and neck. The teller indicated to the drive-through customer that the bank was being robbed.

The local merchant then hopped out of his car, leaving it running in the drive-through.

He went towards the front door of the bank and the robber said he had a bomb and thrust a box covered in wires into the merchant’s face, telling him, “I don’t care if we both die and go to Hell.”

The businessman backed off. “I’m not an Arnold Schwarzenegger, and I could tell he was under the influence of something,” said the merchant.

The resident hasn’t been named by police and asked that he stay anonymous.

Although he backed off, the businessman knew the robber was likely fleeing to a getaway car. So the merchant followed the robber behind the bank and along the railroad tracks. He watched the robber tear off his mask and get into a blue Ford Focus.

Submitted photo by Jeff Schuner – Local police descend on the robbery suspects at Woodside Court in Holley on Tuesday.

The merchant then ran back to the bank, where employees were on the phone with the police. The resident told them the getaway car was a blue Ford Focus. Ten minutes later Holley police stopped the car at Woodside Court, an apartment complex off Route 31 on the west side of the village.

Police charged two Rochester residents Jeremy J. Rothmund, 29, and Elyse A. Hoffer, 22, with first-degree robbery, third-degree grand larceny, and first-degree placing a false bomb or hazardous substance. The bomb turned out to be a fake. They’re in Orleans County Jail with each on $250,000 bail.

Rothmund was allegedly involved in two bank robberies in the town of Greece and another robbery in Monroe County in the past three weeks, Albion police said.

Police praised the Albion resident who identified the getaway car.

“I just wanted to help and be a good citizen and a Good Samaritan,” said the resident. “It all happened so fast.”