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Father, son and wife all charged with robbery

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By Lisa King

A third member of the Chandler family is now up on charges related to robbery.

Two out of three of them are charged in connection with bank robbery.

Carol Chandler, 26, appeared in Shelby District Court on Friday for a preliminary hearing on charges of second-degree robbery.

Chandler was arrested July 28 in connection with the robbery of the Peoples Bank in Spencer County, along with Charles Norton, 37.

Chandler's husband, Kenneth W. Chandler Jr., has been in custody in Shelby County since January, charged with a spree of robberies in Jefferson and Shelby Counties, according to Shelby County Police Detective Stacy Bruce.

"He's the one who ran into convenience stores, restaurants and video stores," Bruce said. "He always had a hood covering his head, so I would say that he would be the 'Hoodie Bandit.' The gun that he used turned out to be a B.B. gun that looked like the real thing."

Bruce added that even if the gun is fake, the person brandishing it can be charged the same as if the weapon were real. Bruce said that this is because when a gun is mentioned, it brings many factors into play, none of them good.

"When you tell an elderly clerk in a store that you've got a gun and he's being robbed, he could drop dead of a heart attack," he said.

Or the clerk could have a gun, and could blow the guy away, he said. And even if the robber really didn't have a gun at all, the clerk would still be justified in defending himself.

"If the guy said he had a gun and said, 'This is a robbery,' and the clerk kills him, that's just his tough luck."

The detective added that he was astounded when he received word that Chandler's father, Kenneth W. Chandler Sr., was arrested for robbing Citizens Union Bank in Simpsonville in April.

"I was sitting here the day the FBI called me, because we'd been looking for the guy who robbed the "CUB" bank and we had all kinds of theories and suspects and he called me and said 'You're not going to believe this, but we caught your bank robber and it's Kenneth Chandler.' And I said, 'No, he's in jail,' and he said, 'No, this is his dad,' and I said, 'You gotta be kidding me.'"

Bruce said that what was strange was that when he started on his bank-robbing spree, the elder Chandler had never been in trouble.

"He's a retired intelligence officer in the Army with no criminal record at all," he said. "But he was just broke, and his business was failing."

Chandler Sr., who is facing federal charges, was indicted by the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Kentucky for taking by force, using a semi-automatic pistol, a large amount of cash from Central Bank in Lexington. The indictment also charges him with using a handgun to rob Citizens Union Bank in Shelby County of an even larger amount of cash.

Bruce said he doesn't think Carol Chandler had any previous record before being arrested for the robbery of the Peoples Bank, but that, with the exception of her father-in-law, everyone charged in the robberies allegedly had one thing in common.

"The common denominator with all those people is crack cocaine," he said.

Kenneth Chandler Jr. and Carol Chandler will both appear in Shelby Circuit Court in October, on Oct. 13 and 7, respectively.

A court date for the elder senior has not yet been set in federal court.