August 30, 2014

Elyria
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Former firefighter admits bank robbery

ELYRIA – A former Lorain firefighter – better known for graffiti in Lorain bearing his nickname, Jimmy Mill – pleaded guilty Monday to robbery and theft charges stemming from a February bank robbery.

James Mielcarek, 45, who could get up to five years in prison when he is sentenced early next year, told county Common Pleas Judge James Miraldi that he has a drinking problem but has stayed sober lately.

PHOTO PROVIDED
Surveillance footage of James Mielcarek robbing Fifth Third Bank in Lorain.

“It would be easy to give a dog-and-pony show, but honest to God, not to quote Richard Nixon, I am not a crook,” Mielcarek said.

According to police, Mielcarek walked into the Fifth Third Bank on Broadway in Lorain and handed the teller a note asking for money.

He never displayed a weapon or claimed to have one during the robbery.

He had allegedly told someone he knew of his plans just before robbing the bank, and he signed the hold-up note “Jimmy Mill.”

Mielcarek fled the bank with cash, and no one was injured in the robbery.

He was arrested several hours later in Elyria.

Mike Duff, Mielcarek`s attorney, said his client has only a vague recollection of the robbery.

“He was stone drunk and doesn`t really know what happened,” Duff said.

Mielcarek spent time in an in-patient treatment facility in Lakewood after he was released from the county jail in April and has been going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings since , Duff said.

“He`s taking it one day at a time,” Duff said.

Mielcarek left the Lorain Fire Department after 10 years on the job in 1998 because of a medical disability.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.