A bank robbery spree across the region has made its way to Platte City.
The Platte City branch of the National Bank of Kansas City, located at 2443 NW Prairie View Road, was robbed on Friday afternoon by a man who presented a note to a teller demanding money.
Platte City police were dispatched to the scene at 1:39 p.m., reports Richard Sayles, police chief. Other agencies briefly responding included the Platte County Sheriff’s Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol, before the Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI) arrived at the scene to take over the investigation.
Jeff Lanza, media spokesman for the FBI, told The Landmark the incident is believed to have been carried out by the same suspects responsible for up to five bank robberies in this region in the past five weeks.
The FBI believes there are four people working together to carry out the robberies, Lanza said.
Sayles said the suspect walked in through the bank’s main door, went to the first teller window and presented the note demanding money. The suspect was, or at least appeared to be, carrying on a conversation on his cell phone at the time. He escaped with an undetermined amount of money, leaving the scene in a dark colored sedan, possibly a blue-colored early 1990s Toyota Tercel.
Sayles said the getaway car, it is believed, was parked in the lot at the Best Western Motel across the street from the bank. The vehicle’s direction of travel was not known. Sayles said a guest at the motel saw the suspect get in the car. It is not clear if there were other occupants in the vehicle, Sayles said.
“We believe in the past (robberies in the area) there has been a female driver and the suspects used a dark minivan,” Lanza, the FBI spokesperson, said. Officials believe the gang includes three men and a woman who sometimes cases the bank.
There were only two customers in the bank at the time of the robbery. Just minutes after the incident, the man and wife told The Landmark they were seated and had their backs to the teller window, and had no idea a robbery was taking place.
“We feel bad that we didn’t see anything,” the man said.
The suspect is described as black male about 5’6″ tall, medium build, in his mid 20s. He was wearing a camouflage jacket, black stocking cap and dark sunglasses. The man never showed a weapon.
Sayles said there were five employees in the bank at the time. No one was hurt in the incident.
Lanza added the suspects in this series of robberies are known as the Band Aid robbers, as one of them in the past has worn a Band Aid on his left cheek. The suspect in the Platte City robbery was not wearing one, however.
Other robberies linked to the one taking place here have occurred at Bank Midwest in Shawnee on Sept. 15; the Enterprise Bank and Trust in North Kansas City and the U.S. Bank in St. Joseph, both on Oct. 10; and the UMB Bank in Overland Park on Oct. 20.
It is believed to be the first bank robbery in Platte City since the former Liberty Savings Bank, now BankLiberty located on Hwy. 92 at Bello Mondo, was hit in the late 1990s.