WEST CARTHAGE, N.Y. (WWNY) - Walter Parker lived at Dalton Estates in West Carthage, a quiet community where mainly seniors live.
“I thought he’d learn his lesson, I mean, geez, he had a good life here,” said Rose MacCue, who has known Parker for 20 years.
Parker just served an almost 11 year prison sentence for robbing four banks in 2004.
For the past year, he lived downstairs from MacCue.
“He was just friendly and nice and always around. He was a whiz at the puzzle,” she said.
Last Friday, the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department arrested Parker at a Dunkin' shop, where he worked overnights making donuts. He was charged with robbing Berkshire Bank in Oriskany Falls.
“It shocked me,” said MacCue.
She isn’t alone. Dawn Scott saw Parker almost everyday.
“He just fit in - we had a dinner once a month. Bingo and cards, just like anyone else,” said Scott.
And if someone in the building needed help, Parker was there.
“He’s taken a couple of people here that needed a ride to the grocery store,” said Scott.
A helpful soul when he moved to West Carthage - village Officer Dave Pustizzi knew it.
“After 26 years in law enforcement, nothing surprises me. I was aware where he lived, and his past,” said Pustizzi.
When West Carthage police heard Oneida sheriff’s were coming to town to find a bank robbery suspect, police there didn’t have to go far. Parker lived across the street from the police station and across a field.
“Yeah, just across the field - easier to keep tabs on him I guess,” said Pustizzi.
And in those apartments, residents who say you never can be really sure who your neighbor is.
“After being in prison for it one time, I thought that he had learned his lesson, but apparently not,” laughed Scott.
If found guilty, the 71-year-old Parker could face a 7 to 15-year prison sentence.
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