Bank robberies are on the rise in Oklahoma, authorities say

Since the beginning of 2013, there have been 20 attempted bank robberies in Oklahoma, 15 in the Oklahoma City metro-area. At a projected rate of one robbery every five days, the state will surpass 2012's bank robbery count of 23 within a few weeks.
by Adam Kemp Published: April 15, 2013
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Charging through the front doors of the bank, two men draw guns and aim them at faces.

One robber covers the customers, ordering them not to move, while the other opens a bag, slaps it on the counter and demands bank employees fill it with cash.

The robbery takes less than a minute, and the men run out the door and get into a waiting stolen car. The driver takes them to a nearby apartment complex where another car awaits them, and the group makes their getaway.

“I don't know what's going on in their minds to make them feel like they are accomplishing something,” FBI spokesman Rick Rains said. “It's high risk, low reward to rob a bank. We nearly always catch you.”

Friday morning at an Oklahoma City home, authorities arrested Michael Deon Lewis, 27, and Jerry Carlton Lewis, 19, on complaints of federal bank robbery. The two are accused of holding up MidFirst Bank, 7500 S Western Avenue. Edna Huff, 21, of Oklahoma City, was arrested on related state charges. A fourth individual at the home also could face charges.

Rains said the FBI believes the group was responsible for five bank robberies since Feb. 13, four of the banks were within a four-mile radius.

Since the beginning of 2013, there have been 20 attempted bank robberies in Oklahoma, 15 in the Oklahoma City metro-area. At a projected rate of one robbery every five days, the state will surpass 2012's bank robbery count of 23 within a few weeks.

Rains said each robbery is different, and he said there doesn't seem to be any consistent reasons why people resort to bank robbery.

In a Jan. 7 heist of a Bank of the West in Norman, Christopher Scott Lowe, 26, was arrested by police after they said he robbed the bank by pretending to have a gun in a brown paper bag and demanding money, according to court records.

Lowe, who is married with three children, was pulled over in his family's minivan just minutes after the robbery. Police said there was a bag full of cash stuffed under the front passenger seat. While in police custody, Lowe made a phone call to his wife to tell her that he had robbed the bank during lunchtime, according to court records.

When Leon Wayne Murrell was arrested Feb. 5 in connection to three bank robberies since Jan. 1, he admitted he had helped in the robberies and told authorities he had been paid in marijuana for his help, according to a probable cause affidavit.


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by Adam Kemp
Enterprise Reporter
Adam Kemp is an enterprise reporter and videographer for the Oklahoman and Newsok.com. Kemp grew up in Oklahoma City before attending Oklahoma State University. Kemp has interned for the Oklahoman, the Oklahoma Gazette and covered Oklahoma State...
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