Exeter police arrest man linked to multiple bank robberies

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EXETER — The man who allegedly robbed three banks in the township and surrounding areas is in custody after police received an anonymous tip.

Anthony Lena, 28, of Mount Penn, was charged with multiple felonies including robbery and theft as well as one count of making terroristic threats after the allegedly admitted to robbing the Visions Federal Credit Union on Feb. 19.

According to police, Lena approached a teller at the credit union around 5:17 p.m., handed the teller a note that said, “I have a gun. I want all the money in the drawer. Stay calm and no one gets hurt.”

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After the teller handed Lena $4,500, he left in a black sedan.

For almost a month, officers were searching for Lena. An anonymous tip to Berks County Crime Alert led investigators to a house in the 2600 block of Perkiomen Avenue in Mt. Penn on March 5.

The tipster gave police a description of Lena and his car, which matched surveillance footage of the banks and descriptions given by bank tellers.

On March 6, investigators conducted surveillance of Lena but had to stop because he was driving too fast, police said.

A short time after the surveillance ended, police said, officers were called to the Visions Federal Credit Union at 600 E. Lancaster Avenue in Cumru after they were robbed.

The officers conducting the surveillance on Lena returned to his home and waited for him to return, police said.

According to police, when Lena was close to his house, officers stopped his car and took him into custody.

While in police custody, Lena waived his rights and elected to speak with police.

In his confession, he allegedly admitted to robbing three banks including an attempted robbery at the National Penn Bank at 4300 Oley Turnpike Road in Exeter on Feb. 11, police said.

On Feb. 10, The First Niagara Bank at 422 Maplewood Road in Amity was also robbed.

Amity Police Chief Kent Shuebrook said Lena hasn’t been charged in the robbery but he has not been ruled out as a suspect.

Lena was arraigned by District Judge William N. Hall Jr. and is confined to Berks County Prison in lieu of his $70,000 bail. According to the office of District Judge Phyllis J. Kowalski, a date for Lena’s preliminary hearing has not been set.