Thursday, June 28, 2012

Kansas City Man Charged in Armed Bank Robbery Attempt

Suspect Fled When Guard Fired Shots

KANSAS CITY, MO—David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man was charged in federal court today for attempting to rob Blue Ridge Bank and Trust at gunpoint. The robber fled without taking any money when a security guard shot at him. An armed federal agent who was a customer at the bank joined the guard to pursue the fleeing robber.

Eric L. Smith, 33, of Kansas City, was charged in a three-count criminal complaint that was filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo. The complaint charges Smith with attempted armed bank robbery, use of a firearm during a crime of violence and assaulting a federal officer.

According to an affidavit filed in support of today’s criminal complaint, Smith entered Blue Ridge Bank and Trust, 6202 Raytown Trafficway, Raytown, Mo., at about 10:05 a.m. Saturday, June 23, 2012. Smith allegedly covered his face with his shirt and brandished a semi-automatic handgun. Smith approached a bank security guard, the affidavit says, and demanded his weapon. Instead, the guard drew his 9mm Glock handgun and fired three rounds at Smith, who was less than 10 feet away. The only customer in the bank, a special agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration, also drew his weapon but did not fire. The guard and the federal agent chased Smith as he fled from the bank, the affidavit says.

According to the affidavit, Smith stopped about 20 yards from the bank, turned, and fired one shot toward the guard and the federal agent. Smith continued running around the strip mall and escaped.

On Tuesday, June 26, 2012, a tip was received by the Crimestoppers TIP hot line by a confidential source who reported that Smith had a bandaged right hand since Saturday. Law enforcement officers went to the residence of Smith’s mother, where he was staying, and Smith was arrested on outstanding warrants. When officers searched the residence they found a loaded .40-caliber Ruger, which matches the handgun used in the attempted bank robbery. Smith was later identified in bank surveillance photos. Law enforcement officers also identified a vehicle at Smith’s residence that matches a vehicle in security video surveillance of the parking lot.

Ketchmark cautioned that the charges contained in this complaint are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christina Tabor. It was investigated by the FBI, the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the Raytown, Mo., Police Department.

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