Have you seen these suspects?
Updated December 2, 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.
Unmasked and Unwitting
Masked his identity...On September 11th in Merrimack, NH tellers at the Bank of America were paid a "presidential visit" by a bandit wearing a full-face President Obama mask and carrying a Walmart shopping bag. John Griffin Jr., 52, approached a teller wearing a mask depicting our nation's leader and a suit coat with a tie, jeans and gloves. Griffin demanded money from a teller and left with an undetermined amount of cash. Witness accounts pointed officers in the direction the masked man fled where a man matching the bandit's description (sans the mask) was spotted coming from behind a nearby business fifteen minutes after the robbery. When they took the suspect into custody he was carrying a loaded semi-automatic handgun. During his arraignment, Griffin said he didn't consider himself a dangerous person and that he "certainly don't mean anybody any harm." Interestingly, this heist occurred two years, almost to the day, from the September 8, 2011, robbery at Michigan Bank and Trust in Tekonsha, MI during which the suspect wore an Obama mask (to our knowledge, that masked man was never caught).
Left a key piece of evidence...It is often said that the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Andrew Frank Laviguer, 57, might have gotten away with robbing the Wells Fargo bank in Portland, Oregon if he hadn't left behind not only a key piece of evidence but the key to his getaway. Holding a gun on bank staff, Laviguer demanded cash and fled the bank with his loot. As he hopped into his getaway car and proceeded to escape, he quickly realized he left his car keys inside the bank. He went back to retrieve his keys only to discover bank staff had locked the doors, so he ducked into a nearby office building. In an attempt to divert officers searching the area for him, he scattered cash around, forcing the evacuation of the building. With the help of multiple witnesses, Laviguer was arrested nearby still carrying his weapon - a toy gun. Laviguer is suspected of robbing five other banks in Oregon and Washington. He was detained at the Multnomah County Jail in Portland on a previous arrest warrant while awaiting charges from both Oregon and Washington for robberies in both states. Federal charges by the U.S. Attorney are being considered.
Equal Opportunity Career and a New Crime Initiative
Burka Bank Robbery - Today many communities include members from various cultures. Banks need to be sensitive to the backgrounds of all their customers, especially those who practice customs that your employees may be unfamiliar with. Even though you may have "No Hats, No Hoods" signs in your branches, there may be some customers who wear a burka (a full body cloak) or head scarf for religious reasons. Obviously, these customers can be hard to identify. Even during October when masks and costumes are donned by Halloween revelers, you can't require someone to remove their religious garb.
What happens when what appears to be a burka-wearing customer attempts to rob you? It may not happen often, but it happened recently in San Diego. Elysia Maria Roiz was arrested for allegedly attempting to rob a Wells Fargo Bank on August 1st while wearing a burka. When Roiz handed the teller a demand note, that teller and another hid from the suspect, who then left after a few minutes. You can view the local news report and surveillance video. In a joint effort with Baja State Police, authorities apprehended Roiz in Tijuana on September 27th. BOL Guru Hussam Al-Abed of Amman, Jordan offers some tips for verifying customer identity Beyond the Veil.
Bank robbery not for men only - While the majority of bank robbers are men, women rob banks too. In Essex, MD three women teamed up to rob the Baltimore County Savings Bank on September 27th. With a description of the getaway car, police were able to stop and arrest Ashley Fitz, 22, Czekiah Fludd, 24, and Alexis Chandler, 19, just a short distance from the bank. Police are investigating the trio's possible involvement in other heists while the women try to raise $350,000 bail.
And northwest of Omaha, NE in Fremont, 19-year-old Kimberly Babbitt is facing two counts of robbery. Formerly from Fremont, Babbitt moved to Omaha. She returned to her former hometown, entered the Fremont bank at approximately 10 am Saturday, September 28th and demanded money from two bank employees. She fled on foot and was apprehended by police the following Monday.
It's a man! It's a woman! It's a bank robber! - On September 27th an Arvest Bank in Norman, OK was robbed by what appeared to be a woman but is believed to be a man dressed as a woman. The cross-dressing bandit, wearing a blond wig, red lipstick, and sunglasses and carrying a purse, passed a demand note to the teller indicating he/she was armed. The teller complied, gave the thief some money, and the suspect fled on foot.
FDIC vs. Failed Bank Officers - The FDIC, which is often appointed as receiver for failed banks, reports 51 banks closed in 2012 and 22 banks failed to date this year. When Macon-based Security Bank was shut down in 2009, the FDIC estimates its losses due to the bank's closure to be $358.9 million. The agency has filed a lawsuit against 16 former Security Bank officers and directors in an effort to recover at least $21.76 million of those losses. The FDIC asserts in its claim that the defendants named in the suit were negligent in their legal duties when they improperly approved seven commercial real estate and construction loans and three lines of credit that contributed to the bank's failure. Similar claims previously brought by the FDIC have been rejected by courts across the country. In this case, the FDIC has requested a jury trial.
No separation of government and state - The FBI is joining forces with state government agencies to fight the war on Internet crime. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) and the state of Utah have kicked off a pilot program that will focus on establishing a model for sharing information and coordinating investigations between the Bureau and state and local agencies. Based on the initial results of the Utah pilot, the FBI plans to expand the program to other states. Read more about the new initiative at FBI.gov
Hot Topics From the Threads
In the publicly accessible threads one banker was looking for new ways to train staff about security. Read suggestions shared by your peers and if you have some of your own, pass them along on this Annual Security Training thread. Security officers were also discussing what you can do, must do and should not do when you detect counterfeit currency. There aren't second chances in this area, so learn about it before you have to deal with this situation.
Additional discussions on various topics can be found in the Public Security area. When commenting on these discussions, keep in mind this is an unprotected public forum and comments should be limited to generic content.
We also have a "private" security forum for discussion of more private, sensitive topics. That is where security officers have been discussing a recent news article about the kidnapping of a bank employee and her husband, and more. This forum often hosts discussions on ATM and vault thefts, authentication procedures, DDoS attacks, removing silent alarms, hacks, phishing, and more. Don't miss out on this wealth of knowledge shared by your peers.
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 email@example.com. Please verify that you do not yet have Private access. Once your registration request is approved, you can access the Private Security forum here.
BOL CrimeDex Alerts Full of Training Examples
September's BOL CrimeDex alerts provided a great collection of new incident reports that can be used as real-life examples in your institution's security training sessions. Early in the month a North Carolina county sheriff posted an alert about an apparent example of "necrolarcency." A family reported that it received a statement for a new bank account in the name of a family member who died six years ago. Could the bank that opened the account have missed a flag in its CIP verifications steps warning that the woman whose name that would appear on the account had died? The U.S. Secret Service has reported an arrest in a fraudulent credit card scheme in which several bank tellers were duped into force-authorized cash advances when the woman wielding the card talked the tellers into talking with the "card issuers" using the thief's cell phone. Those transactions and several fraudulent purchases with the stolen card resulted in a loss for the card issuer of over $206,000. And finally, an Oklahoma bank reported that a trio of fraud artists had attempted a series of phony "cash-back" transactions through a legitimate customer's account, using forged or counterfeit checks on another bank.
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!