Have you seen these suspects?
Updated May 1, 2013
Be on the lookout for the individuals pictured in our collection of bank robbery suspect photos from banks robbed in the last month.
Print out and post the pics, or circulate them to your frontline staff. See the latest additions to the ROGUE'S GALLERY OF UNKNOWN ROBBERY SUSPECTS.
Best Laid Plans...
Real Charges for fake robbery plot - Veteran bank robber Otis McAllister was serving a 37-year federal prison term in Greenville, IL for a series of bank robberies he plead guilty to in 2006. With nothing but time on his hands, Otis hatched a plan that he hoped would reduce that time - a plan that backfired and earned him more time at FCI Greenville. Soliciting the aid of two relatives, Otis planned a heist targeting a St. Louis County bank. His goal was not a bank robbery at all but a set up to have the two men arrested by reporting the robbery to federal authorities and in turn reaping the reward of a reduction in his own sentence. When the case went to trial, defense lawyers for McAllister's patsies argued since it was an imaginary crime with imaginary players, their clients were not guilty. But phone calls, letters, emails, a gun and other evidence pointing to the planned robbery incriminated Otis McAllister and his willful accomplice, Ray Bassett. Bassett confessed to his role in the scheme and also admitted to robbing a bank with McAllister in 2000. Otis was convicted on solicitation to commit a crime of violence in the same federal court that awarded his current sentence. Bassett was found guilty of bank robbery conspiracy and gun charges (not on attempted robbery). The planned heist might have been fake but the charges are very real. Anthony McAllister - the only one of the trio who was allegedly unaware of the pseudo plan - was acquitted of conspiracy and attempted bank robbery.
Things don't always go as planned - No matter how much time, effort and creativity they exhaust in planning a bank robbery, some criminals just can't pull it off. From an unnamed wanna-be bandit in Tehran who tried to rob a bank disguised in a cloak of invisibility to Albert Bailey, who thought he would have better luck if he called ahead to have the stolen cash ready when he arrived, check out ten of the worst bank robbery plans reported.
Swatting, stealing and shooting
Cybercrime reporter is physically "Swatted" - One of cybersecurity's most renowned journalists is a bullseye target for cyber attacks in retaliation for his Krebs on Security blog that has helped track and take down criminals with his investigative reporting that includes publicized detailed criminal evidence. He doesn't just write about what the crooks are doing, he displays the evidence on his site. Following a DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) cyber attack, the threat against Krebs reached beyond cyber space to his personal space last month when he was "swatted." Swatting is when someone tricks authorities into dispatching law enforcement units based on a false report. Krebs opened the door to his home and found himself surrounded by a SWAT team with guns drawn on the reporter, who thankfully had the foresight to report this potential threat to authorities last year when he suspected he might be targeted by just such an attack. Your bank executives or other staff in positions of authority may be at risk for personal attacks from disgruntled customers. Conduct regular physical security training to make them aware of the risks and how to protect themselves from personal physical threats.
I know him! - Few people have ever heard of Steubenville, Ohio, until a recent highly-publicized violent crime case swarmed the news. While the locals are dealing with the aftermath of that crime, staff at a local Huntington Bank branch are recouping from a crime that hit even closer to home for them. A teller at the branch was approached by a man demanding cash. When she didn't give up the cash right away, the thief jumped over the counter and gathered the loot himself. Two people who saw the surveillance photos shown by the media identified Damion Sacripanti as the person in the photos due mostly to the appearance of a black eye the suspect was known to have. With this information police were able to focus their search on Sacripanti, who was arrested about 12 hours following the robbery. Sacripanti told authorities he used the cash to buy heroin in Steubenville. At the time of his arrest he only had $58 of the alleged $1,000 take left.
Not such a glory morning - While some early bird bankers may have anticipated a quiet Saturday morning when they arrived at their branch in Abington, PA at 6:45 AM on Saturday, March 23, they were greeted with anything but peace and quiet. As one of the employees went out to let another arriving employee inside the lobby door, an armed, masked man rushed them. The employees were able to quickly close and lock the door, but the glass door didn't stop the bullet fired at the door by the robber. As the door shattered, the man entered the bank and grabbed the employee inside, releasing the employee before escaping through a back door. The bank wasn't scheduled to open until 7:30 a.m. so we assume the vault was still locked and the teller drawers still secured since the bandit reportedly fled without any loot.
Man's best friend is bandit's worst enemy - It's one thing to watch a movie and see people get shot when you know it's all make believe. When it's real, that's a different story, even when it's an animal instead of a person that gets caught in the crossfire. In Buckeye, AZ police were tracking a bank robber when they sent a trained K-9 to chase him down. When the bank robber shot the dog, officers fired back. Thankfully the brave canine's leg was only grazed and he'll make a full recovery. The suspect was not so fortunate - he was killed in the incident.
Alerts & Threads
In the public accessible threads one banker has asked about retention - how long do you keep reports of entry, as an example? As is often the case, the conversation expanded to how many cameras might be used and the storage capacity to meet the needs of all this data. Weigh in on the discussion here, keeping in mind this discussion is in a public forum and should remain generic.
Last month's discussion on when banks train new hires continues.
We also have a "private" security forum for discussion of more private, sensitive topics. That is where security officers were discussing the Abington "morning glory" robbery mentioned in the security shorts section of this edition. Additional discussions are taking place on ID theft, security manuals, 314a matches and security procedures for the executive offices and more.
To comment in Bankers' Threads you must be a registered user. You can register here. If using your bank email account, you will be given access to the private forums. The Private area is a group of forums under the heading "Private - Financial Institution Personnel Only." The Private forums do not include access to Bankers Hotline or Compliance Action, premium content areas that require paid subscriptions to those respective publications.
If you are already registered for the Threads, but don't yet have access to the private forums, using your bank email address send a request for access to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please verify that you do not yet have Private access. Once your registration request is approved, you can access the Private Security forum here.
CrimeDex alerts get the word out
Police in Irvine, California, got March off to a strong start with a CrimeDex alert asking for help identifying an ID theft suspect wearing a blue wrist brace. They were closely followed by another ID assistance request from across the country in Rock Hill, South Carolina, where police were investigating a series of fraudulent ATM withdrawals. A California credit union reported on its investigation of an account takeover in which an elderly couple's accounts were drained of $60,000 when ID thieves gained fraudulent online access, diverted bank statements and sent out funds via ACH, bill-pay and transfers to PayPal accounts.
Counterfeiting, of course, continues to be a popular method for separating money from its lawful owners. The Purdue (Indiana) Federal Credit Union posted an alert warning of counterfeits of their Official Checks in circulation. Counterfeit credit cards were the subject of an alert from the Milwaukee Police Department. And counterfeit cash was reported by a sheriff's office in North Carolina.
Each month there are scores of new CrimeDex alerts with information you can use to help protect your institution from criminals. There are also plenty of ideas for fresh examples you can use in security training for your staff members. Keep up on the latest scams, crimes and other threats facing your bank and other businesses with a free subscription to BOL CrimeDex
CrimeDex is now FREE to registered members of the Bankers' Threads
Private Security Forum! Get the details and subscribe now!
Robbery Deterrent Signs
Asking customers to remove hats, hoods and sunglasses could help reduce the number of bandits who target your bank. If you don't have a sign asking customers to remove their hats and sunglasses, get one now from the Banker Store
Remind would-be criminals coming in to your institution that they're likely to have their image captured on your surveillance cameras -- and that crimes against your institution are investigable by the FBI. These "print-it-yourself" signs from BOL provide another tool for deterring robbers.
Bank Robbery, International Style
Bank robberies, regardless of where perpetrated, always rely on intimidation and threats. Guru Barry Thompson's article reveals some astounding differences between bank robbery methods and responses between the U.S. and Japan. Read Bank Robbery Response
Reward Program Pays Off
Since 1991, Wells Fargo's robbery reward program has resulted in the capture of 228 robbery suspects with an average cost of $3,294 per captured robber. What a bargain!
Reward Program Pays Off
Employee Conduct During and After a Robbery
Quick lists that make great hand-outs for your robbery training.
-- During a Robbery
-- Don't Be a Hero
-- After the Robbery - Do
-- After the Robbery - Don't
-- Dealing with the Media
-- Closed Sign
Detailed, comprehensive procedures from Guru Dana Turner
-- for Management
-- for Staff Personnel
Dealing with the Aftermath
After a robbery or other critical incident, affected employees may experience a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms. These resources, from Lawrence Brock, can help the employees understand what they are experiencing, and can help employees not directly affected know what to say and how to listen.
-- Specific Ways to Cope with Stress
-- Tips for Listening
-- Signs of Grief/Loss
-- Avoiding Secondary Wounding
-- How to help
Robbery Prevention, Response & Aftermath
Robbery Prevention - NO HATS Signage
Bank Security Program Policy - approximately 15 page template covering topics ranging from Key and Combination Control to Cash Shipments and Requirements, Bank Robberies and more.
Security Program Manual
Complete, model security program from Dana Turner created in template form, with policies and procedures from both security and operations functions. Coverage includes all functions, department, facilities and record and asset control. Addresses routine operations techniques and the three types of internal and external crimes.
Effective Robbery Response & Opening Procedures (DVD)
From Bankers Video Library.
No one wants to think robbery can happen. But it can -- and does.
In the event of a robbery, getting the robber out the door, with no harm or injury to anyone in the office, should be everyone's aim and purpose.
This video, used along with the accompanying training workbook, (and documentation), can provide your institution with the robbery response training mandated by the Bank Protection Act.
Workplace Violence: It can happen to you - training video
From Bankers Video Library.
Surviving a violent event requires both individual and team efforts. Learning simple, effective survival techniques could save your life-and the lives of your co-workers and your customers. This tape, used along with the accompanying training workbook, (and documented), can provide your institution with the robbery response training required by the Bank Protection Act.
How Observant Are You?|
Test your observation skills (and your reflexes!) with these two original games from BankersOnline.com.
- Face Memory Challenge - Look at a face. Try to memorize each feature. Click a button. The face is gone and you must rebuild it, piece by piece. Test your skills in our Face Memory Challenge!
- Picture Memory - Get your clicking finger ready and snap into maximum concentration mode as you prepare to play Picture Memory. Warning! It's addictive!