NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A federal grand jury returned an indictment today charging a man with making multiple bomb threats in Hampton and Newport News in an effort to divert authorities away from his armed robbery of the Virginia Educators Credit Union (VECU).
According to allegations in the indictment, Oscar Von Alston II, 31, made a series of bomb threats to public facilities in both Hampton and Newport News including two courthouses, two hotels and a YMCA beginning at 11:32 a.m. August 9.
At 11:55 a.m., during the evacuation of the threatened locations where police and firemen were dispatched, Newport News Communications received an alarm activation at the Virginia Educators Credit Union. At 11:57 a.m. the call was upgraded to a bank robbery.
Officers arrived on scene and spoke to witnesses who stated a male suspect entered the bank, armed with a firearm. He jumped the counter and took an undisclosed amount of money.
Von Alston was apprehended less than 20 minutes after the robbery with more than $22,000 from the VECU.
Von Alston is charged with five counts of making a threat with explosives, five counts of false information and hoax, bank robbery, and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum of seven years and maximum of life in prison.