A Texas man was taken into custody yesterday morning after allegedly robbing a Miami bank- perhaps, for the second time this year.
Leslie Howard Palmer, 45, of Sherman, Texas, was arrested for the alleged robbery of Security Bank & Trust around 8:45 a.m. Thursday.
“A little before 9 a.m., we received a call from Security Bank that a man wearing a wig and coveralls had entered the bank and told everyone to get on the ground and no one would get hurt,” said Todd Chenoweth, Assistant Chief of Police for the Miami Police Department.
Bank employees say the man jumped across the counter and began putting money into a paper bag.
Witnesses reported the man left in a full-size white van driving north towards Wal-Mart.
“Officers were in the area and were able to get to Wal-Mart quickly,” said Chenoweth.
Shots were fire by Commerce police officers while in the Wal-Mart parking lot, according to Chenoweth.
Authorities say Palmer abandoned the van and left southbound on Main Street in a red full-size pickup.
“I was at 22nd and Main and was able to pick up pursuit,” said Chenoweth.
Officers trailed the suspect south on Main Street, through the northwest residential area, past the hospital and onto Highway 69 south out of town.
“He turned on that gravel road before Lakeland (Office Supply),” said Chenoweth. “He attemped to get back on Highway 69 out by M&M but we had the road blocked so he turned into the church parking lot.”
Chenoweth said that is where the pursuit ended.
Authorities say the suspect was fired upon after he refused to get out of the truck.
“He resisted arrest and necessary force was used take him into custody,” said Chenoweth.
The van used in the bank robbery was stolen Wednesday from Darnell’s auto repair on South Main.
The truck the suspect was apprehended in had been reported stolen from Durant a few days ago.
“Although the suspect denies having any involvement in a robbery at the same location in March, we pretty much have the same M.O. (modes of operating) here,” said Chenoweth.
March 19, a man with a shaved head and wearing sunglasses walked into the Security Bank & Trust, at about 8:54 a.m. and demanded cash before hopping over the counter and grabbing an undisclosed amount of money. The suspect left the bank, drove to Wal-Mart, where he got into another vehicle and left town.
Authorities say they are almost certain this is not just a copycat bank robber, but the actual suspect from the March robbery.
“(Witnesses) indicated it was the same man when they made the 911 call,” said Chenoweth.
In addition to the wig and an undisclosed amount of cash, a number of other things were found in the pickup when Palmer was apprehended.
“We found items we believe will link him to some burglaries in Miami that have occurred in the past few days,” said Chenoweth.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorney’s office have been brought in to help with the case.