Serial Midwest Bank Robber Learned His Trade Well


Continuing its series on a 20-month bank robbery spree, the Louisville Courier-Journal says it was a robbery that the Interstate Bank Mart bandit did not commit that marked the investigation’s turning point. A Blue Ash, Ohio, detective mistakenly believed that the serial holdup man was responsible for a 2003 bank robbery in that city. The cop brought in a Cincinnati-based FBI agent who added the resources of the federal government. They joined a Louisvilel officer to create a task force that eventually grew to representatives of 52 agencies.

The investigators agreed on one thing: This bandit was good. “Anybody with the IQ of a sprinkler head and a minimum supply of luck can rob a bank or two and stand a good chance of getting away with it,” retired FBI agent William Rehder wrote in “Where the Money Is: True Tales from the Bank Robbery Capital of the World.” But the more banks a robber hits, Rehder said, the greater the chance of a slipup. David Brankle would later tell police that he studied other bank robbers and how they got caught so he could avoid their mistakes, and he learned as he went. He got in and out of each bank quickly–sometimes less than a minute. He controlled his greed. He never went into a vault for more money or demanded that a teller do so. He knew that would have taken too long. Perhaps most importantly, he ran from a crime scene only once.


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