Webster bank robber to take plea deal
Published 4:56 pm, Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Preston Hanlon, who police said used a commuter bus as his getaway vehicle after holding up a New Milford bank in January, has agreed to testify against his accomplices in exchange for a five-year prison sentence.
The 28-year-old Mr. Hanlon pleaded guilty Friday, Aug. 5, to first-degree robbery and conspiracy charges during an appearance in state Superior Court in Litchfield.
He admitted he was the man who robbed the Webster Bank branch on Main Street at gunpoint Jan. 18 before taking a Housatonic Area Regional Transit bus to his Route 7 apartment.
Under the plea agreement, the prosecution will recommend a 15-year prison term, suspended after five years, when he is sentenced by Judge James Ginocchio later this year.
A key condition of the deal, according to Assistant State's Attorney Dawn Gallo, is Mr. Hanlon must cooperate in the prosecution of his two co-defendants, roommate Micah Thaisz, who allegedly provided the weapon used in the robbery, and Mr. Hanlon's girlfriend, Serena Viccaro, the bank teller who handed him the cash.
Both Mr. Thaisz, 25, and Ms. Viccaro, 22, are scheduled for court appearances Aug. 30. Both face accessory and conspiracy charges for their involvement in the $2,200 heist.
In a statement he gave to authorities after his arrest, Mr. Hanlon said he was disappointed by the take because Ms. Viccaro told him she would have far more money in her cash drawer when they planned the robbery.
Mr. Hanlon had previously said Ms. Viccaro had been telling him for months how easy it would be to rob the bank because of the lack of security procedures.
Mr. Thaisz admitted providing the Airsoft pistol his roommate used in the robbery, along with clothing he wore in an attempt to change his appearance, according to police.
Mr. Hanlon is tentatively scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 30, but Ms. Gallo said Monday the sentencing wouldn't take place until the two co-defendants' cases have been resolved.