Keota bank branch closes because of security, lack of business

Saturday, June 7th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

KEOTA - Too little business and the cost of security measures have led to the closing of this east-central Oklahoma town's only bank.

The Keota branch of the First National Bank of Stigler will close Aug. 15, bank President Mike Butler said Friday.

"It was a combination of everything," Butler said. "The Keota branch was more of a customer service than a profit."

The 17-year-old bank has been robbed twice and vandalized several times since, Butler said.

After an April 1 robbery, the bank hired a security guard and implemented other safety measures. The additional expense was a factor in closing the branch, which does little business, he said.

The branch was robbed in 1986 when a man walked to the counter, showed a gun and demanded money. The robber was never caught.

In the most recent robbery, a bank employee and her husband were held hostage overnight in their home by three masked and armed men.

The robbers forced Ima Jean Moore, a loan secretary, to open the bank vault the next morning before the bank opened.

Keota resident Jimmie Perkins, 47, and his son Anthony Perkins, 21, and Richard Johnson, 32, of Stigler, were arrested in April. Johnson and Jimmie Perkins face federal bank robbery charges, while Anthony Perkins, also of Keota, is jailed on federal complaints.

Butler said safe deposit boxes will be transferred to First National Bank of Stigler.