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Bank robbery suspect must provide palm print; Match sought in 2006 Hometown Bank case.

Byline: Gary V. Murray

WORCESTER - A suspect in a 2006 Webster bank robbery was ordered by a judge yesterday to provide prosecutors with his palm prints for comparison to palm prints found at the scene of the crime.

Rafal S. Orlowski, 25, of 1A Pearl St., Webster, is charged with armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery in an Aug. 22, 2006, holdup at the Hometown Bank on Main Street in Webster. His case is scheduled for trial June 24 in Worcester Superior Court.

Assistant District Attorney Michael D. McHugh filed a motion last month seeking court approval to obtain palm prints from Mr. Orlowski to compare to prints state police recovered from a counter and a door at the Webster bank after the robbery. Judge Peter W. Agnes allowed the motion yesterday over the objections of Mr. Orlowski's lawyer, James J. Kaeding.

Mr. McHugh showed Judge Agnes surveillance photographs taken at the time of the holdup that depicted a man wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap - a man prosecutors allege was Mr. Orlowski - with his hand on the counter of the bank.

"In the case at bar, the defendant's palm print impressions will probably produce evidence relevant to the question of the defendant's guilt," Mr. McHugh said in his motion.

In allowing the motion, Judge Agnes said Mr. Orlowski had no Fifth Amendment privilege in connection with the requested evidence because it was not testimonial in nature.

Mr. Orlowski is being held on $100,000 cash bail and has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Two others have also been charged in the bank heist.

David J. Pelletier, 55, of 15 Fifth Ave., Webster, who allegedly drove the getaway car and called in a bomb threat prior to the robbery to draw police to the opposite end of town, is awaiting trial on charges of armed robbery, making a bomb threat and conspiring to commit armed robbery.

Mr. Pelletier's 45-year-old fiancee, Leeann Rodenmacher, of the same address, is charged with conspiring to commit armed robbery and being an accessory, after the fact, to armed robbery. Ms. Rodenmacher is also charged with robbing an elderly woman at knife point Sept. 19, 2006, in Webster.

Police reports indicated Ms. Rodenmacher confessed to the earlier crime and provided authorities with details of the Hometown Bank holdup while en route to her court arraignment in an attempt to negotiate leniency.

Mr. Pelletier and Ms. Rodenmacher have pleaded not guilty. Each is being held on $10,000 cash bail.
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Apr 11, 2008
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