Bank robber sentenced |

Bank robber sentenced

Christina Proctor

Meredith Howard Polzel told probation officers that he was desperate and hungry when he robbed three South Shore banks. On Thursday, the 52-year-old man was sentenced to five years in a California State Prison.

In a span of two weeks in August, Polzel held up three banks –

El Dorado Savings, US Bank and Wells Fargo – on U.S. Highway 50. Each robbery was increasingly bold, ending with Polzel walking into the Wells Fargo branch, located in the Crescent V Shopping Center, during one of the busiest times of day. No one was physically harmed in any of the South Shore robberies.

Polzel was arrested soon after the last robbery in a downtown Truckee motel, after South Lake Tahoe Police tracked him from a false name registration at a Stateline motel.

El Dorado County Deputy District Attorney Peter O’Hara said Polzel was ordered to pay $5,040 in restitution to the banks. The $5,900 that was recovered after Polzel’s arrest will be split between the three banks.

In an interview with a probation officer before sentencing, Polzel said the idea to rob the banks just “popped” into his head.

“I didn’t want to be cold or hungry,” Polzel said. “There are less people around. I don’t know what I was thinking. I thought I would get $100,000 and it would be a one shot deal.”

Polzel said he spent the majority of the money gained from the robberies on gambling and drinking.