Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Case Of The FBI Anticipating Bank Robberies In Two Cities On The Same Day

As I was browsing the Chicago Tribune's website this morning, I noticed something familiar when I read the headline, "2 charged after FBI robbery probe ends with 1 suspect dead." Hadn't I just read a similar headline in Indianapolis within the past day? I went back to the Star's website and found this headline: "FBI identifies trio of suspects in Plainfield bank robbery." A sub-heading added, "Indianapolis man was shot, killed by federal agents; 2 others in jail." Two bank robberies occurred in separate suburban cities in neighboring states on the same day involving three armed robbers, and the FBI was at the scene of both robberies when they occurred to pursue the suspects, capturing two and killing one after a shootout. What are the odds?

Here are the details from The Tribune on the suburban Chicago bank robbery:
Two men whose accomplice was shot to death by law enforcement in far northwest suburban Richmond on Friday have been charged with attempted bank robbery after FBI agents investigating a series of robberies cornered them, according to the FBI.
Aaron Russell, 40, and Roberto Favela, 34, were charged late Friday and appeared in federal court this morning, according to the FBI. Shot to death after he rammed an FBI agent’s car was Tony Starnes, 45, of  the 7800 block of South Marquette Avenue, according to the criminal complaint . . .
The shooting happened about 11:30 a.m. in the parking lot of the Associated Bank at 10910 N. Main St. in Richmond, just west of the Chain O' Lakes near the border with Wisconsin.
FBI agents had been investigating Russell and Starnes, and others who aren't named, in connection with a string of jewelry store robberies in the Chicago area, according to the criminal complaint against Russell and Favela. Investigators suspect Russell and Starnes in an armed bank robbery Feb. 2 in Poplar Grove. They were planning another at the bank in Richmond, according to the criminal complaint.A woman who works in the business next door said workers were terrified by the shooting . . .

Geri Rubel, an accountant at a firm in an adjoining part of the bank building, said that about 11:30 a.m., she heard two bursts of rapid, automatic gunfire outside, one short and one long. She and her co-workers looked out the front window of her office and saw men with guns running through the parking lot toward the bank.

“That scared the (expletive) out of us,” she said. “We locked the door, went to a corner of the room and cried because we didn’t know what was going on. I thought of my kids, and called the high school (to alert them).”

They peeked out the window occasionally to see what was happening, until a McHenry County Sheriff’s deputy came to the office to tell them that investigators had been staking out a robbery of the bank and that one suspect was killed.
Now here are the details offered by the Star on Friday's bank robbery in the suburban Indianapolis community of Plainfield, which happened close to the same time as the suburban robbery:
The FBI has released the names of two men and a woman who are suspects in Friday’s bank robbery in Plainfield that left one of them dead.
William McKnight, 43, Indianapolis, was identified as the man shot and killed by federal agents shortly after the State Bank of Lizton was robbed.
Two other suspects — Demetrius Worley, 24, and Lori A. Armstrong, 44, Indianapolis — were arrested. They are in the Hendricks County Jail.
“(McKnight) was fatally wounded after brandishing a handgun and refusing to comply with verbal commands to disarm,” according to a news release issued Saturday afternoon by Robert A. Jones, the agent in charge of the Indianapolis office of the FBI and Chief Darel Krieger of the Plainfield Police Department.
The bank, at 2100 Stafford Road, Plainfield, was robbed at 10:50 a.m.
According to the news release, the FBI Safe Streets Task Force was conducting surveillance on a suspicious vehicle that was later determined to be the bank robbers’ getaway vehicle.
The suspects were spotted shortly after the robbery in a Plainfield neighborhood, near Springcrest Street and Almond Drive.
Friday’s chaos left many in Plainfield in fear while the manhunt was on.
Schools and day-care centers in the area were briefly locked down. Some residents also described the shock of hearing gunshots after authorities found the suspects about a mile away from the bank.
After two masked, armed robbers barged into the bank, they fled with money — the amount unknown — and hopped into a car, seemingly escaping with the prize in hand. But the FBI, which already was conducting surveillance in the area, was nearby . . .

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