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Have you seen these suspects?
Updated January 1, 2015  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.



Masked Their Identity
Curses, Foiled Again! - In the 80s classic cartoon Masters of the Universe, He-Man's arch-foe Skeletor was always scheming to take over the Castle Grayskull, but his efforts often failed because of his own incompetence. Brendan Millham of Sandwich, MA should have chosen a more competent villain for his bank heists. When the Eastern Bank in Marstons Mills, MA was robbed by a man wearing a skeleton mask and black hooded sweatshirt, brandishing a firearm and ordering everyone to the floor, multiple agencies responded to the holdup alarm. Local detectives investigating the robbery were joined by detectives from nearby Sandwich, who were investigating a similar bank robbery that had occurred in their town on October 3rd. Following a tip that led to Millham's address, the detectives found "Skeletor" in possession and use of heroin and arrested him. They also found a large amount of cash that was taken from the Eastern Bank robbery earlier in the day. Detectives re-established surveillance and subsequently apprehended Kyle Marrs, who also had cash on him from the heist. A search warrant executed at Marrs' apartment recovered the mask, clothing, and loaded handgun used in Eastern Bank job. Millham was charged with Armed Robbery While Masked, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of Ammunition, and Possession of a Class A Substance. Marrs was also charged with Armed Robbery While Masked. Both suspects were arraigned and held on $50,000 bail. If convicted, Skeletor (AKA Brendan Millham) will have plenty of time to rest his bones and think about things.

The cloak of religion - Efforts to nab a bank robber in southern New Jersey are being hampered by sensitivity to racial profiling. The suspect believed to be behind at least three bank heists in the region is hiding behind traditional Muslim garb worn by many Islamic women. In his latest heist, the burqa-donned bandit got away on foot after handing the teller at a Beneficial Bank branch in Audobon, NJ a note demanding cash. He dropped the bag of cash and fled empty handed when the dye pack exploded outside the bank. The suspect's choice of a disguise presents a dilemma for tellers, who may be reluctant to report a suspect they might recognize to avoid appearing discriminatory. Likewise, in conducting their search, the local authorities are trying to strike a balance between nabbing the crook while not profiling Muslims who wear burqas in banks.



Devils in Disguise

Two volatile villains wanted - The FBI is looking for two nefarious thieves in Halloween masks who made dough-or-death demands at suburban banks in Northeast Pennsylvania. A man wearing a mask similar to one worn by the killer in the movie "Scream" entered a TD Bank branch and held a teller at gunpoint until he got his loot and ran. He is also suspected of robbing the same bank in July.

On September 24th, an armed robber in an old-man mask and gray wig robbed a Wells Fargo bank branch in a suburban region of Philadelphia. That masked bandit fired off a shot during the robbery, but no-one was injured. He got away with an undisclosed amount of cash. The suspect is believed to have robbed the same bank and another Wells Fargo branch in June. Suspects in both of these suburban robberies are considered armed and dangerous. Tipsters should call the FBI with any information related to either of these cases.

Tricked, no treats - A little too early for trick-or-treat, a man entered a Fifth Third Bank supermarket branch in Cincinnati on October 15th wearing a gray skeleton Halloween mask under a navy blue hooded sweatshirt and carrying an open umbrella. The suspect showed the teller a black semi-automatic handgun and demanded money. Placing the stolen cash in his black "treat" bag marked with large white letters, the man fled the scene and has so far eluded capture.

Playing doctor - Some youngsters dress up for Halloween in costumes that reflect what they want to be when they grow up, such as firemen or doctors. A grown-up disguised as a medical professional robbed a Capital One bank in Nesconset wearing a surgical mask, dark clothing and white shoes. Instead of carrying a stethoscope and helping save lives, the masked man claimed to have a gun and threatened the teller's life if she didn't hand over the cash.

Do Not Enter - During this most frightful time of the year, the First Niagara Bank in Syracuse, NY adopts a "no masks" policy in an effort to turn these tricky thieves away at the door. The bank prominently displays signage on the entrance door that reads: "As Halloween approaches keep in mind that Masks are prohibited in the building. Thank you for your understanding."

The family business - Not all disguises are easily identifiable. Widower Scott Catt hid his secret life as a bank robber behind the guise of a dedicated family man. Not only were his two kids closer to him and more trusted than anyone else in the world, they were also his accomplices. Read more about the family man who turned bank robbery into the family business.

Hot Topics From the Threads

The publicly accessible threads for Security have been very quiet for the last couple of months as the discussions have been more confidential and appropriately discussed in the Private forums. But there was actually one post November 3rd where a person is seeking out some duties of the security officer and this naturally gravitates also to how big is the bank. Read more and comment here. More of the discussions, for risk management and confidentiality reasons, have moved to the private area where we have a forum for bankers only on security topics, and another that allows law enforcement and regulators access.

We also have a "private" security forum for discussion of more private, sensitive topics. That is where security officers were discussing handling claims where "ladies of the night" steal checks, if the Security Officer is a bank officer, branch design with security in mind, CTR filings, 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 brenda@bankersonline.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.




So much crime, so little time!
This month started off with an alert from a southern California credit union, warning other financial institutions about a member they had kicked to the curb after a “good size loss.” Next, there was a warning from Citibank about deposits of counterfeit Citibank cashier’s checks followed by immediate cash withdrawals. A bank in the Carolinas sent out a warning about accounts being opened with fraudulent checks in the Florence, South Carolina, area. The Postal Inspection Service asked for assistance in locating accounts in the name of a suspect involved in a New Jersey false billing scheme relating to school supplies. An investigator in Oregon sent out a notice asking for information on any other investigations involving his suspects in an alleged residential mortgage loan modification scam.

Counterfeit business checks were the focus of an October 7 alert from a mid-Atlantic credit union. A single business account’s checks had been counterfeited in amounts from $3,500 to $14,200. There were several reports of cloned credit cards. And finally, there seems to be an increase in reported “card cracking” schemes in which gang members use “recruited” debit card holders to deposit bogus checks into their accounts, then use the cards to withdraw cash from those fraudulent deposits. The recruits can be willing or coerced, and may or may not come away with some of the proceeds of the scam. How will your bank handle a claim from a cardholder that both the deposit and the withdrawal(s) were unauthorized?

BOL CrimeDex subscribers can send and receive alerts that can be instrumental in solving or preventing scams, robberies, fraud and other crimes. Information from CrimeDex alerts can be great object lessons to share with customers in financial institution newsletters or with employees in security training.

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.

Banker Tools:
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

Robbery Procedures
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-Related Products
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!







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