Account holder robs his own bank in Little Canada

Quick action by employees and Ramsey County Sheriff's deputies together with a Maplewood Police officer's memory resulted in an inept bank robber ending up in jail.

The man, ironically an account holder at the targeted US Bank in the 2800 block of Rice Street, approached a teller the morning of Dec. 20 and handed her a note which read, "No silent alarms."

The robber did not display a weapon nor imply that he had one,  but ordered the teller to give him "everything in the top drawer." She complied, responding "I'm really nervous."

"Don't be," he said, "There's nothing to worry about."

As the suspect left with the cash, the teller alerted another bank employee who followed the man outside, getting a license plate number as he got into a pickup truck.                               

"Don't rob your own bank"
"Don't rob your own bank," said Ramsey County Sheriff's Department Investigator Dan Eggers, in describing the events which led to the robber's quick downfall. The man wore the same clothing -- a red shirt, black jacket and bright blue stocking cap -- that film surveillance showed him wearing recently in legitimate transactions at the bank. And he wore no mask or gloves, leaving physical evidence at the scene.

The bungling bank robber also drove his own vehicle and that license information turned up his address in Minneapolis. Police responded to that location but the man was not at home.

"The big break," Eggers called it, came when a computer check of recent records showed his vehicle being checked on by a Maplewood police officer three times in the past month. A call was placed to the Maplewood officer who said "It was for parking violations and I know exactly where it was."

The vehicle was spotted at an apartment building parking lot with the suspect inside, and the chase was on. After a pursuit through the streets of Maplewood, at speeds up to 60-mph, the suspect was boxed in and a short foot chase and scuffle followed, resulting in the man's arrest.

A search warrant soon turned up the clothing he wore during the robbery and much of the cash, some in marked bills, at the Maplewood apartment rented by a friend.

The 41- year-old Minneapolis man is currently in jail on felony charges of theft and fleeing police in a motor vehicle. Additional charges are under consideration by the U.S. Attorney's office. 

Denny Lynard can be reached at dlynard@lillienews.com.