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Plot to rob Goshen bank upended

Newly freed inmate charged in scheme thwarted by police

– Released from the Indiana Department of Correction last month, a 27-year-old Fort Wayne man is now accused of conspiring to rob a Goshen bank.

According to documents filed in the U.S. District Court in South Bend on Friday, Joseph Golden is accused of planning to rob the First State Bank in downtown Goshen. But before he got to the bank, police stopped Golden’s car and took him into custody without incident.

He was arrested on a two-count criminal complaint accusing him of bank robbery and conspiracy to commit a bank robbery. Court documents indicate the FBI believes him to be a suspect in an abduction and bank robbery that occurred in Fort Wayne in 2012.

A teller at the Goshen bank called police Dec. 11, saying he had been contacted by Golden who had just gotten out of the Westville Correctional Facility and was told by a friend to give the teller a call to help make some easy money.

“(The teller) assumed Golden was talking about committing a bank robbery at his branch,” the documents read.

Police gave the teller a digital recorder and told him to record all the phone calls he had with Golden, who called again that same day.

In that call, Golden said he was going to rob the bank and asked for the teller’s assistance in doing so. The two met later in the month, and Golden told the teller he would approach the bank as it opened and would force the teller inside the bank. When inside, Golden would tie up the teller and anyone else inside and flee the bank with the money from the vault. The two agreed to split up the money, according to court documents.

Over the course of the next two weeks, the teller recorded seven telephone calls with Golden, in which they agreed on meeting times and places and how the money would be split up, according to court documents.

On Thursday, Golden told the teller he would leave his Fort Wayne home at 4:30 a.m. Friday.

When he left his house, in his 2005 white Pontiac, police followed Golden from Fort Wayne to Goshen, arresting him just outside Goshen city limits, according to court documents.

After his arrest, Golden told FBI agents he planned to rob the bank in cooperation with the teller. Golden said he brought a bandanna, zip ties, gloves, a mesh bag and a change of clothes, according to court documents.

No information was available in court documents about what bank robbery in Fort Wayne federal investigators believe Golden may have been involved in.

Golden was released from Westville in December after serving about a year on a charge of criminal recklessness by firing a gun into an inhabited building.

rgreen@jg.net

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