Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Bank robber Googled: How to rob a bank

There must be all kinds of ways to plan, execute and get away with a bank robbery. Perhaps, not using your computer to perform incriminating Internet searches on the subject should be considered an important part of any successful bank robbing scheme.

From left: Sarah McLoud, Robert Owens and Daniel Murphy

From left: Sarah McLoud, Robert Owens and Daniel Murphy

Police in Weymouth, Massachusetts, posted on Facebook about an arrest made October 11, 2013, of three bank robbers following a robbery at the Weymouth Bank that morning around 10:45. Witnesses told police that an apparently unarmed blonde, white woman had entered the bank, demanded money without a dye pack “and no one would get hurt.” A review of surveillance footage showed the woman, and interviews with witnesses revealed a male accomplice.

Narcotics detectives conducting an ongoing investigation a local house near the bank as a point for heroin distribution, recognized the pair as Sarah McLoud, 27, and Robert Owens, 28, both suspects connected with the narcotics investigation. Police caught up with them around 4 p.m. at their residence and arrested them, took them to jail and obtained a warrant to search the McLoud’s room. There they found the clothes the robber had been wearing at the bank, “an olive green baseball type cap and a dark colored sweatshirt with a New England Patriots logo on the front.” They found the cash from the bank robbery and what the Facebook post described as “a significant quantity of heroin packaged for sale.”

The clincher, however, a review of recent computer searches on McLoud’s PC showed searches for “What happens if you rob a bank, What happens if you rob a house, What happens if you rob a drug dealer, and If you’re going to rob a bank.” Further investigation also revealed Owens’ alleged role in the robbery and the identity of the alleged getaway driver, Daniel Murphy, 30.

McLoud and Owens were charged with conspiracy to commit unarmed robbery, unarmed robbery, possession with intent to distribute heroin, and possession with intent to distribute class C Xanax, and held on $10,000 cash bail. Murphy was charged with accessory after the fact to the bank robbery and possession of class B Suboxone allegedly found at the time of his arrest. His bail is set at $25,000.

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