motorcyle cop arrests bank robbers
An alert Platte City business owner and
an off-duty Highway Patrol communications officer both
played a role in aiding a Platte City motorcycle officer
in the capture of the three alleged 'Band-Aid Robbers'
on Friday afternoon.
Authorities had given the gang the nickname
because bank security videos of the holdups show one of
the men often wearing an adhesive bandage on the left
side of his face. The videos also show one of the men
talking on a cell phone while the bank robberies are in
The suspects, believed to have been involved
in as many as seven bank robberies throughout the region,
were eventually stopped west of Platte City by Platte
City motorcycle officer Chris Stackhouse and taken into
custody by Stackhouse with assistance from two deputies--Jeremiah
Filion and Billy Slentz--from the Platte County Sheriff's
The arrests were made about 3:50 p.m.
west of Tracy on the Hwy. 92 Spur. The suspects were not
armed, according to Platte City police. They were taken
into custody without incident. Several articles of clothing
were found in the vehicle, including a black baseball
Bank robbery charges have been filed by
the U.S. Attorney's Office against Christopher C. Pinkston,
28, of Leavenworth, Ks.; Dan. W. Russell, 40, whose residence
is in Georgia but who was visiting Pinkston and staying
at a Leavenworth motel; and Nakia Gross, 31, of Leavenworth,
who is said to be the girlfriend of Pinkston.
Roseann Ketchmark with the U.S Attorney's
Office said thus far the suspects have only been charged
with one of their seven alleged robberies. They are officially
charged with the last robbery allegedly committed, that
of Enterprise Bank and Trust on Northwest Prairie View
Road, Kansas City. Other charges may develop, Ketchmark
said, but in the complaint the only charge listed is the
"most recent" of the robberies.
Court papers indicate the robbers made
off with $1,226 from the bank on Prairie View.
An off-duty Missouri State Highway Patrol communications
officer also assisted by following the suspects' vehicle
northbound on I-29 after the robbery on Prairie View had
occurred and by relaying location information to Platte
In an interview with The Landmark, the
Platte City business owner said he was conducting business
inside the National Bank of Kansas City Friday afternoon
when a customer entered the bank and asked bank officials
questions about opening an account for his college-age
son. The business owner, who asked not to be identified
for this article, became suspicious when he saw the customer
leave the bank and walk over to the nearby Best Western
"I had a bad feeling about him. I
was just suspicious," the business owner said.
He said he saw the suspicious man get
into a van, which had a female driver and another passenger
up front. The suspect who had been in the bank "hunkered
down" in the back seat.
The concerned citizen followed the van,
which he said drove south toward the Timber Park subdivision
before turning around and heading back toward the heart
of Platte City. The citizen phoned the National Bank of
Kansas City to let them know he thought the bank had just
been "cased." An off-duty sheriff's deputy was
working security at the bank, and the security officer
phoned dispatch with the information.
"I drove by every bank to be sure
they (the suspects) weren't at any of the banks in town,"
the business owner said.
Though police were put on alert by the
information obtained from the business owner, it is believed
the suspects left Platte City undetected by authorities
after being spotted and trailed for a short time by the
business owner. It is believed they left Platte City,
robbed the bank on Prairie View, then headed back north
on I-29 where they were spotted and followed by the off-duty
Highway Patrol employee. The suspects were presumably
headed home to Leavenworth when they were passing through
Platte City and eventually arrested by Stackhouse.
National Bank of Kansas City in Platte
City had already been robbed, allegedly by these same
suspects, back on Oct. 27. Did it look like they were
ready to be hit again last Friday? Very likely, according
to the alert business owner.
"I think the guy saw me in there
and that deputy back there and had second thoughts.
Earlier on Friday, two banks had allegedly
been hit by these same suspects. The action began about
1:40 p.m.. when a person passed a note demanding money
to a teller at the Bank of Atchison in Atchison, Ks. About
two hours later, a person used the same method to get
money from a bank at 7612 N.W. Prairie View Road in Platte
County. Witnesses from each of the robberies noted the
same license plate number on the getaway vehicle.