Mother of alleged Delaware Valley serial bank robber says he hasn't been taking medicine

WILMINGTON (WPVI) -- The mother of a suspected Delaware Valley serial bank robber said her son needs help and is asking for him to contact her.

Authorities have identified 39-year-old Michael Wheeler as the suspect who robbed three banks in the state of Delaware and one in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.

Detectives said he carried out the four bank robberies between July 29 and August 5.

The most recent incidents occurred this past Monday at an M and T in Middletown and a Wells Fargo in Wilmington.

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FBI: Serial robber hitting banks throughout Delaware Valley. George Solis reports during Action News at 5pm on August 9, 2019.

On Friday, Action News spoke exclusively with Phillis Wheeler. She said her son suffers from mental illness and she is pleading for him to surrender peacefully.

"This is not my son. He's not perfect, but he would never do nothing like this, because he's not taking his meds. I think he's being easily influenced because he always seemed to get with the wrong crowd. But I'm telling you, my son would never do anything like this," said Phillis Wheeler.

She added, "I'm not justifying for what he did, because that's wrong, but he's not himself."

Phillis Wheeler told Action News she spoke with her son last Sunday night and tried to get him to surrender.

She said her son does not have a gun.

"Please pray for my son," she said. "My son is not a threat, he has mental issues."

Outside of the four linked incidents, investigators said Michael Wheeler may also be responsible for three additional robberies in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland.
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