DNA links five-state bank robber to Denver burglary two years later

By on December 29, 2015

DNA evidence has linked a federal inmate charged in numerous bank robberies to a December 2013 burglary in Denver.

Francis Michael Simmons, formerly of New Jersey, is charged with at least 14 bank robberies and two business robberies ­ most in Pennsylvania, others in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and North Carolina, according to a release from District Attorney Craig Stedman’s office.

Francis Michael Simmons

Francis Michael Simmons

Simmons, a federal prisoner at Columbia County Prison, was recently arraigned via video on his newest charge: a Dec. 16, 2013, burglary at German Trading Post, a consignment shop on North Reading Road.

A trail of blood evidence left at the scene led to the felony charge, filed by East Cocalico police Detective Keith Neff.

Simmons broke a glass showcase at the shop and stole an estimated $7,800 in jewelry and gold coins.

He left behind blood evidence, which was sent to a Pennsylvania State Police lab for analysis.

Simmons, wanted by the FBI, was arrested this summer on the robbery charges. His DNA, obtained while in custody, matched the blood evidence from the consignment shop.

District Judge Nancy G. Hamill arraigned Simmons last week and set an additional $100,000 bail on the latest burglary charge.

The widespread robbery spree happened between November 2013 and November 2014.

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