At least one motorist somewhere out there knows what it’s like to be a wanted bank robber.
Granville Police Sgt. David Williams said he and Officer T.J. Zovistoski surprised a motorist when they pulled her over on Route 22A near the Panorama Motel in Hampton just after 3 p.m. Nov. 2.
Initially, reports from witnesses on Main Street in Poultney at the scene of the Citizen’s Bank robbery had a light colored Volkswagen leaving the scene at a high rate of speed.
As Williams and Zovistoski made their way towards Poultney, they passed the suspect vehicle going in the wrong direction.
“We decided we should turn around and chase the car down just in case they switched cars,” Williams said.
At that time the lead turned in by Poultney barber Jeff Roberts had not been discovered and police thought it possible the robber or robbers had switched vehicles, Williams said. Roberts witnessed accused bank robber Jill Ludwig leaving the parking lot and took down a license plate number leading to the capture of Ludwig and her partner and accused co-conspirator John Maynard.
As it turns out, the suspects had not switched cars and the student who had been driving a bit too fast on Granville Street in Poultney got off with a big scare and a warning to keep the speed down after multiple police vehicles converged on the traffic stop.
As police were clearing the scene, Williams said the Roberts eye witness account went out to police.
Not having a radio that could pick up signals of Vermont cars or dispatchers, Williams said he used his smart phone to keep in touch with other officers and to do a little investigating of his own. When Ludwig’s name went out to police after the plate number was traced Williams said he got on Facebook and Google and was able to find hits on the suspect.
“I checked out her Facebook page and it said she had ties to Castleton State College so we headed for the college to talk with the security office there,” Williams said. Google hits linked the suspect to Green Mountain Outlook a free weekly publication where she worked selling advertising.
As Granville Police went to the college, Vermont State Police were converging on Ludwig’s apartment in search of the suspect couple.
As the hour following the 3:10 p.m. robbery came to an end, police were summoned to Hydeville, Vt., a hamlet of Castleton, and Paul’s Family Pizza where a sharp eyed Bruce Sherwin, the Castleton Police Chief, had spotted the suspect’s 2000 black For Taurus partially obscured behind a nearby building. Ludwig and Maynard were taken into custody without incident and remain in the Marble Valley Correctional facility on $200,000 bail each.