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Robber returns to Medford bank

By Anita Burke

For the Tidings

A Medford man with a history of mental illness, substance abuse and bank robbery convictions returned to a downtown bank he last robbed in 2002 to stage a robbery attempt that he apparently hoped would send him back to prison, police said.

Instead, Kenneth William Metzker, 61, of the 200 block of North Holly Street, Medford, was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge Monday afternoon.

Medford police said Metzker went to Key Bank at 2 E. Main St. at about 2:30 p.m. Monday and presented a note to a teller. The note said a robbery was under way but didn't demand money, Medford police Lt. Tim Doney said.

The teller reported to police that Metzger told her to activate the alarm and he would wait in the lobby for officers to arrive, Doney said.

Police arrived and took him into custody within minutes.

"It was deja vu because he had done the same thing in 2002," Doney said.

On June 13, 2002, Metzker went into the same bank and presented a note demanding $100. When he got the money, he sat in a chair in the lobby until officers arrived, then walked out to meet them. He later told detectives that he hoped police might shoot him when he came out. He also said that he had been convicted of a bank robbery in the 1970s in the Salem area and that he felt that by committing another robbery he could go back to the penitentiary, Doney reported.

He pleaded guilty to a federal charge of unarmed bank robbery and was sentenced to prison in Lompoc, Calif.

After reviewing the facts of Monday's case, investigators charged Metzker with disorderly conduct because he hadn't taken any money or even demanded money, Doney said. Yet he had disrupted the bank's business.