State News

FBI identifies suspect in bank robbery spree

Posted August 27, 2009
Updated August 28, 2009

— The FBI has identified a suspect in a three-month bank spree spanning the Carolinas, Kentucky and Tennessee: an Indiana man convicted three times for armed robbery in one county.

A warrant issued Thursday charges Chad E. Schaffner in two armed bank robberies in Tennessee cities two hours apart Aug. 18.

The warrant also contained surveillance photos from eight other bank robberies that the FBI believes that Schaffner might have committed since May. Those robberies include ones in Fayetteville, Hendersonville, Edenton and Fletcher.

He has not been charged in those robberies.

The warrant documents violent behavior by Schaffner during the Tennessee robberies: He brandished a firearm in both and once held a gun to a clerk's head and said, "Don't put a dye pack in the bag, or I will come back and blow your head off."

Schaffner was released from an Indiana prison in December 2008 after serving 6 months time for armed robbery, the warrant says.

According to Indiana Department of Correction records, Schaffner has spent more than 14 of the past 18 years behind bars. In addition to armed robbery, he has been convicted of burglary and escaping from custody.

The FBI credited the identification of Schaffner to tips received from an electronic billboard campaign that has been running for about a week across the South.

The warrant says that a man who had known Schaffner for about two months told the FBI he'd been in the Morristown, Tenn., area during the robberies. Agents also talked to a woman who they had heard had recently started a relationship with Schaffner, but she denied knowing him.

The next day, though, the woman told agents that Schaffner had been in her apartment when she talked to them earlier. He showed a gun and threatened to kill her children if she told them about him, the warrant says. Schaffner left in a large, gray sedan with Knox County, Tenn., tags.

He might also be driving a black GMC pickup with Tennessee plates or a red Chevrolet pickup with South Carolina tags. He is considered armed and dangerous.


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  • Professor Aug 28, 2009

    Well I am glad the FBI has him. He is now on his way to prison for about 25 years. He needs help. No face mask and just asking to be arrested.

  • Lightfoot3 Aug 28, 2009

    “He apparently cannot be rehabilitated so he is a perfect case for the dirt nap.” - colliedave

    Totally agree!

    But his gun looks fake.

  • colliedave Aug 28, 2009

    This guy proves our "correctional" system isn't working. He apparently cannot be rehabilitated so he is a perfect case for the dirt nap.

  • shortcake53 Aug 28, 2009

    This guy just needs to go away, period. And it looks as tho thats exactly what hes trying to do,only he's a coward and wants someone else to take him out. WHO thought it was a good idea to let this guy out in the first place?? He must be one heck of an actor to convince parole board he was ok to let go. I hope he meets his end soon, without taking anyone else with him.

  • ncsudan Aug 28, 2009

    smbiz, your I85 justice comment is in very poor taste. What would you think if it was your child killed on I85? regardless of the reason?

  • lumberman Aug 28, 2009

    Another poster child for the chair ! Just got out and can not wait to go back to the good life. Free food health care and cable TV. What more could you want. This guy is going to end up killing someone before they put him away for GOOD.

  • Raleigh Boys Aug 28, 2009

    This guy looks like someone that works in the Durham County Government offices

  • workerbee Aug 28, 2009

    He want's to be caught? I'd say it's more likely he doesn't care. He know's he'll probably be on the street again in no time. He's been in jail for 14 years for various crimes and then, during his last term, only spends 6 months....for armed robbery! I wonder what the heck you have to do to stay in jail.

  • AnotherIgnoredComment Aug 28, 2009

    Just shows all states have a probation/parole problem. Need to revamp the whole system and stop catering to the poor downtrodden criminals who were forced to do these acts b/c their mommy and daddy didn't hug them enough

  • Sidekick Aug 28, 2009

    Nice, clear image. This security company should get some good publicity from how clear and legible the image is. I hope it aids in his capture. From his expression, he is not timid about using his gun. Thank goodness he, to this point, just wants to steal. But don't tick him off!