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.
|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.