Westminster Man Sentenced to 66 Months in Prison for Conspiring to Commit Home-Invasion Style Robbery
The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that 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.
The United States Attorney’s Office emphasizes that the charge against McCandless is merely an accusation and that he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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. Any sentence will be formulated through consultation of the United States Sentencing Guidelines and consideration of McCandless’s personal history and characteristics.
Acting United States Attorney Jonathan A. Ophardt commended the quick response and investigation of the Burlington Police Department and thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its assistance.
Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly Ang is prosecuting the case for the government. McCandless has not yet retained or been appointed counsel.