Deputy charged in two more robberies

Published 9:15 pm Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A sergeant with the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Department has been charged with three different bank robberies in that city, police announced on Wednesday.

John Michael Keene II, of the 1100 block of Fern Lane in Suffolk, was arrested Tuesday near the BB&T Bank at 825 Volvo Parkway, which had been robbed earlier in the day.

Chesapeake police announced Wednesday morning that Keane also was being charged with two earlier robberies at the same bank. The Chesapeake Sheriff’s Department announced soon afterward that Keane had been fired and was being held without bond at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center.

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According to a news release from Officer Dorienne M. Boykin, a spokesperson for the Chesapeake Police Department, a man wearing dark glasses, gloves and a surgical mask over his face entered the BB&T Bank on Tuesday and handed a bag to a teller “implying that he was conducting a bank robbery.”

The teller filled the bag with money and gave it to the suspect, who then left the bank and fled the area in a red vehicle, possibly a Ford Taurus, according to Boykin.

Shortly after the robbery, a Chesapeake K-9 officer saw a vehicle that appeared to match the description of the suspect’s car parked in a lot near Volvo Parkway. Police stopped the car, and inside it they found evidence from the bank robbery, Boykin stated.

After he was arrested, Keane was identified as a suspect in two previous robberies at the bank, Boykins stated in a follow-up on Wednesday. Those robberies occurred July 10 and Dec. 23 of last year.

Keane has been charged with three counts of robbery, three counts of wearing a mask in public, three counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and three counts of entering a banking house with the intent to commit larceny.

Keane, 32, was hired as a security officer with the Sheriff’s office in June 1998, according to Sgt. David Rosado, a public information officer for the department. Keane became a Deputy Sheriff in August 1999 and was promoted to the rank of sergeant in July 2008, at which time he was assigned to the Booking Section, where suspects are processed after they are arrested.

A preliminary hearing on Keane’s charges is set for March 31 in Chesapeake General District Court.