Accused bank robber waives preliminary hearing

A Fayette County man accused of robbing the Citizens Bank on North Atherton Street last week waived his preliminary hearing Wednesday.

Cecil Barnhart, 61, of Connellsville, is accused of taking $2,900 from the bank and faces felony bank robbery and theft charges. Patton Township police arrested Barnhart at his home over the weekend. He is held at Centre County Correctional Facility in lieu of $100,000.

It’s not the first time Barnhart has been accused of robbery. Barnhart served time in federal prison after pleading guilty to involvement in a string of bank robberies across three states in 2003.

Richland Township police in Cambria County suspect Barnhart robbed a Rite Aid pharmacy there Friday, two days after the Patton Township heist. Robbery and other charges were filed against Barnhart in relation to that incident Wednesday.

Deb Lux, Barnhart’s public defender, declined to comment after the hearing.