The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

July 26, 2013

Masked man robs Jasper bank; second bank robbery in Joplin area this week

By Jeff Lehr

JASPER, Mo. — A masked gunman, wearing a Dallas Cowboys sweatshirt, robbed a bank Friday in Jasper and drove off in a small, black car.

The man entered the Southwest Missouri Bank, 101 E. Grand St., about 1:45 p.m. armed with a handgun and demanded money, according to Capt. Derek Walrod, with the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department. The man left the bank moments later with an undisclosed amount of cash.

“We had a witness that saw a man running from the scene eastbound,” Walrod said. “He got into a black, compact four-door car.”

He said Jasper police responding to the robbery did not spot the suspect fleeing the scene and were uncertain in which direction he might have gone. Walrod said the closest sheriff’s deputy at the time of the robbery was in Carthage, but a perimeter was soon established with the assistance of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

“As quick as he got in and out — from what witnesses were telling us — I imagine he got through it,” Walrod said, a few hours after the robbery.

The gunman wore a mask, dark-colored ball cap, hooded sweatshirt and baggy pants. He was described as having a medium build and being about 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall. There was one customer and three employees in the bank at the time of the holdup.

The FBI and state patrol are assisting the Sheriff’s Department and Jasper police in the investigation.

Walrod said investigators have no reason as yet to see the Jasper bank robbery as related to a bank robbery on Monday in Galena, Kan., or another recent bank robbery in Iola, Kan.

Additional photographs of the man who robbed the bank in Galena were released on Friday. He is described as 30 to 40 years old, about 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighing 150 pounds. Galena police said that robber is now believed to have been driving a 1999 to 2002 model Pontiac Firebird that was navy blue with a spoiler on the trunk. It had no front license plate.

Tip lines

Anyone with information about the Jasper bank robbery is being asked to call the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department at 417-358-8177, the Joplin office of the FBI at 417-206-5700 or Heartland Crimestoppers at 417-782-TIPZ.

Tips regarding the bank robbery on Monday in Galena, Kan., should be directed to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department at 620-429-3992, Galena Police Department at 620-783-1900 or Heartland Crimestoppers at 417-782-TIPZ.