Reduced Charge For Polite Thief

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HAGERSTOWN, Md., Dec. 2 (UPI) — A Maryland man who took $3,500 from a bank was allowed to enter an Alford plea to a reduced charge due to his politeness during the crime, his lawyer said.

Assistant Public Defender Carl Creeden said Franklin Keefer II, 29, had been charged with robbery and theft of $1,000 to $10,000 following the June 28 incident, but the prosecution and defense agreed to a plea deal getting rid of the robbery charge due to the details of the case, The (Hagerstown) Herald-Mail reported Thursday.

The court heard Keefer did not display a weapon when he walked into the Columbia Bank in Hagerstown while wearing sunglasses and a ski cap.

“Can I have everybody’s attention? This is a holdup,” court documents quoted Keefer as saying.

“Can I please have that stack of money?” he was said to have asked a teller who was counting a cash deposit.

“Robbery involves the force or threat of force,” Creeden said. He said the prosecution and defense agreed those elements were absent in the case.

Keefer entered an Alford plea, which involves the defendant admitting the prosecution has sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction without admitting guilt, to theft.

Circuit Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. sentenced Keefer to seven years imprisonment, with all but 2 1/2 years suspended and 154 days of credit given for time served. He was also ordered to submit to five years of supervised probation and repay the $3,500 he took from the bank.

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