Bank Robber Sentenced to 26 Life Sentences
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 08, 2011|
COLUMBIA, SC—United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Chad Earl Schaffner, age 39, of Indianapolis, Indiana, was sentenced this week in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville, to serve 26 life sentences in prison, with 14 of them to run consecutive to each other, for convictions for 13 robberies and the use of a firearm during those robberies. Schaffner robbed 11 banks, one credit union and one retail store in a six-state robbery spree between May and September of 2009. He became the subject of a nationwide manhunt until his arrest in a motel in Kingdom City, Missouri three days after his last armed robbery of a bank in Caseyville, Illinois.
Schaffner robbed three banks in South Carolina in the summer of 2009. On May 28, 2009, entered a Wachovia Bank in Forest Acres and asked to borrow a telephone book. When he returned the telephone book, he pulled out a pistol and announced that a robbery was taking place. He then held three tellers at gunpoint while he robbed them of cash.
On June 19, 2009, Schaffner entered a First National Bank in Mt. Pleasant, pulled out a pistol, and ordered tellers to put cash in a bag that he provided. He ordered the tellers to lie on the floor, grabbed the bag and fled the bank.
On August 10, 2009, Schaffner entered a First Palmetto Savings Bank in Myrtle Beach and pulled out a pistol as he approached the tellers. He threatened to kill them if they did not do as he said before giving them a plastic bag to fill with cash. He ordered the tellers into a bank’s bathroom before he fled.
Other robberies in other locations committed by Schaffner during 2009 include: a bank in Louisville, Kentucky on May 7; a credit union in Fletcher, North Carolina on May 15; a bank in Fayetteville, North Carolina on July 6; a bank in Edenton, North Carolina on July 15; a bank in Hendersonville, North Carolina on July 29; a bank in Jefferson City, Tennessee and one in Morristown, Tennessee, both on August 18; a bank in Bloomington, Indiana on August 28; and a Kroger retail store in Jefferson City, Illinois on September 4.
Schaffner has a criminal history that includes two separate robbery convictions in Indiana in 1991 and 1994. His arrest and conviction for the 2009 robberies was the result of an investigation led by the FBI in Johnson City, Tennessee, and the assistance of numerous other law enforcement agencies across the country.
The South Carolina cases were investigated by agents of the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Alston Badger of the Charleston office.