Donald McCandless, 42, of Norfolk, Virginia, was arrested yesterday after he attempted to rob the Vermont Federal Credit Union in Burlington, Vermont. McCandless was charged today by criminal complaint and will be appearing tomorrow before United States Magistrate Judge Kevin J. Doyle for his Initial Appearance. McCandless is currently detained pending his appearance.
According to court records, McCandless is alleged to have entered VFCU with an object in his pocket, stated he had a bomb, and demanded money. McCandless then approached a teller window and began punching the plexiglass barrier, knocking items off the counter.
A customer conducting business at the bank grabbed McCandless and began pulling McCandless toward the exit of the bank. McCandless was given $10 in cash by a patron, and McCandless left the bank. Burlington Police Officers who responded to a 911 call and alarm at VFCU encountered McCandless on College Street wearing clothing consistent with that described by witnesses of the attempted robbery. McCandless was found with two $5 bills in his hand, and McCandless reported having been “doing meth” earlier in the day.
At the time of his arrest, McCandless had a nonextraditable arrest warrant issued in Norfolk, Virginia for violating a term of probation imposed as part of his sentence for a 2020 conviction for Felony Strangulation. In the week prior to the attempted robbery, McCandless had multiple encounters with Burlington and South Burlington Police and was cited by South Burlington Police earlier on the day of the robbery for trespassing onto the Vermont Air National Guard Base with a knife.
If convicted of the charged offense, McCandless could face up to twenty years in prison, up to a $250,000 fine, and a period of federal supervised release.