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Pa. School Shocked by Teacher’s Arrest

May 3, 2002

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ High school history teacher Alvin Jumpp encouraged his inner-city students to succeed and do the right thing. He shared school lunches with them, lent them money for snacks and occasionally drove them home.

And in his off hours, the FBI believes, the suburban dad was robbing the bank branch a mile from his $185,000 house to cover his mounting debts.

``Jumpp was cool. You would never expect him to do something like that,″ said Tyrone Jenkins, 16, a student at Audenried High School in South Philadelphia, where Jumpp earned a reputation over the past decade as a caring, dutiful teacher.

On Thursday, Jumpp, 51, was behind bars in New Jersey on $100,000 bail.

``I’m assuming it was a personal problem that brought him to so something like this, because there was no indication at school,″ said Principal Millage Holloway.

The FBI arrested Jumpp on Tuesday morning as he took out the trash at his Mount Laurel, N.J., home. He is charged with robbing the Farmers & Mechanic Bank of $10,233 on April 21 and is a suspect in two other holdups there since December, according to FBI agent Sandra Carroll.

In the heist that took place on April 21, a Sunday, the robber commanded: ``Hold your hands up and don’t move. You have 10 seconds.″ He was wielding what witnesses believed to be a gun wrapped in paper or plastic.

One of the tellers ordered to put cash into his yellow plastic grocery bags thought the voice sounded familiar and believed it belonged to Jumpp, whom she knew as a customer. Jumpp has a deep voice and a Caribbean accent.

Investigators started watching Jumpp’s bank accounts. Within four days, the FBI said, Jumpp deposited more than $2,000 in cash at two nearby branches _ including seven of 10 marked bills the clerks had tossed in the bags. Jumpp also paid off $2,500 in delinquent taxes on his home, authorities said.

A gauze mask and gloves similar to those the suspect wore were found in a search of his house, although no weapon has been found, Carroll said.

Jumpp made $48,944 as a teacher and his wife $75,475 as a middle school principal in Philadelphia. In court Wednesday, Jumpp said he had $68,000 in credit card debt and owed an additional $69,000 on a son’s college loans, according to federal prosecutor Norv McAndrew.

The other robberies, which together netted about $5,000, occurred on Dec. 21 and Jan. 11, both Fridays. Jumpp taught school on both days.

Neither Jumpp’s lawyer nor his wife, Deborah, returned calls for comment Thursday.

Jumpp talked about his two college-age sons in class, said students at the aging brown-brick school that sits next to an expressway. Mostly, though, he encouraged them to succeed.

``He’d say, `You didn’t come to school yesterday. You make my day bright,‴ said Jamillah Robinson, 16.

``He was always encouraging us to do right,″ said Quanntrale Shaw, 17.

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