Armed Robbery Suspect Arrested

Friday, December 8th 2006, 6:12 pm
By: News On 6

A suspected serial bank robber is now behind bars. News on 6 reporter Joshua Brakhage says police tracked him down for one crime, and then realized he could be responsible for three bank robberies in less than three weeks.

Three banks in 18 days, the first robbery was the Monday before Thanksgiving at the Valley National Bank. Tellers say a man with a gun came in, demanded cash, jumped in a car and drove away.

That weekend, police think the same man held up an IBC bank branch. In that robbery the man come in with a grocery bag in one hand, and a gun in the other. He hands the teller the bag and tells her to fill it up, she drains the drawer of cash, and he gets away.

The last heist happened Friday at the BancFirst at 41st and Yale. Just before the bank closed, police say a man pointed a gun at three employees until they handed over the money.

Police say bank robbery is a hard crime to get away with. So after three hits, with both police and the FBI on his tail and surveillance video all over TV, officers say it was just a matter of time before a crook slips up, or someone turns you in.

"They put your mug out there real quick, so anyone that knows you interested in making a buck, you know, you stand the chance of getting turned in," said Captain Eric Dalgleish.

That's just what happened, an anonymous tipster pointed police to a home near 4600 N. Main Street. Police surrounded the house and when the woman inside let officers in, they found their suspect hiding in a bedroom closet.

"It was without incident, once we found him in the closet, police did a great job of clearing the house safely, finding him and taking him into custody," Captain Dalgleish said.

Police arrested 50-year-old Leslie Thompson, his friends call him Tommy.

Officers also found cash, a gun, and the clothing they think the suspect is wearing in surveillance pictures.

"He's at least good for three robberies, so man perfect example of why we encourage those anonymous tips," said Dalgleish.

Leslie Thompson is being held without bond for violating his parole, and spending so much time on the run.

Police don't know if they'll ever be able to recover all the stolen cash. They say bank robbers are usually involved in lots of other crimes and the money has a way of disappearing.