updated 1 hour, 3 minutes ago
Levittown – Whatever caused a Bristol Township mother of three to don a hoodie, grab a revolver and allegedly rob a local store at gunpoint is unknown.
Although the family filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy five days before, the woman’s husband says that’s not the reason. He attributes her actions to a change in medication by a therapist appointed by county court.
Police said Catherine Schneider, 29, of Cherry Lane, is in county prison after allegedly robbing the Original Brothers Deli at 6702 Mill Creek Road, about a mile from her house, on Feb. 4.
The Schneider family filed for bankruptcy Jan. 30 and faces home foreclosure, owing the bank more than $200,000, according to county records.
Schneider was arraigned in district court last week and sent to prison on $50,000 bail, according to court records. Bristol Township Detective Mike Slaughter said she admitted robbing the store because she was having “a lot of family and personal problems lately.”
“While outside the home at her backyard, Catherine Schneider asked Detective [William] O’Keefe, ‘How much trouble am I in?’ ” Slaughter said. “Detective O’Keefe replied, ‘I can’t answer that, but it will help if you cooperate in this investigation.’ ”
“Catherine Schneider responded, ‘I did it,’ and began to cry,” Slaughter said.
Schneider’s husband, Nick, said the family’s problems went far beyond home foreclosure.
“The story here is not about a family facing financial problems,” he said. “The story here is about a family that got screwed over by the system.”
Nick Schneider said the family started to fall apart shortly after an April 5 domestic dispute that ended when he pushed his wife out the front door. Shortly after that, Bucks County Children and Youth took custody of the Schneiders’ three children, he said.
Nick Schneider said his wife’s medication was changed just days before the robbery.
A therapist appointed by county court after the domestic dispute had prescribed for his wife the anti-depressant Lexapro. That was changed to another antidepressant, Celexa, when a new therapist was assigned to his wife.
The newspaper was unsuccessful in reaching the therapist for comment Friday. On its Web site, the Food and Drug Administration warns that people taking Lexapro should be “observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality and unusual changes in behavior, especially during the initial few months of a course of drug therapy, or at times of dose changes, either increases or decreases.”
The FDA also warns against suddenly stopping Celexa because of possible side effects.
“My wife didn’t go robbing that store because of the home foreclosure,” Nick Schneider said. “I’m the breadwinner of this family and I worry about the money.”