Thursday, July 13, 2000

Veteran cops sat, awaited robber

2 staked out highway at county line

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Officers David Flannery and Lee Shimizu arrested bank robbery suspect Daniel Schwarberg.
(Michael E. Keating photo)
| ZOOM |
        LEXINGTON — The call came over the police scanner: The bank robber's getaway car was a gold-colored, 2000 four-door Mitsubishi Mirage.

        Following gut instinct that comes with a combined 29 years experience on the Lexington police force, Patrolmen Lee Shimizu and David Flannery decided to drive their cruisers to the edge of town in hopes of catching the bank robber as he fled.

        The two sat at the Fayette County line Tuesday on Interstate 75 north and waited.

        Ten, 20, 30, 40 minutes passed. Other officers had given up looking for the man — believed to be the serial bank robber known as Average Joe — who pulled off the late-morning heist.

        But Patrolmen Shimizu and Flannery decided to wait a while longer. Both had apprehended two bank robbers before, and they wanted to snag their third.

        Then, at 12:29 p.m., a car matching the description drove past. The driver matched the description of the robber.

        The two patrolmen, driving separate vehicles, pulled the Mitsubishi over to the interstate shoulder. Patrolman Flannery knew that he propably had his man when the driver of the car did not ask, “Officer, what did I do to get pulled over?”

        Instead, the driver quickly handed the officer his driver's license and said, “I was in town looking for an apartment.”

        After further checking and questioning, the two patrolman said they thought they had their bank robber.

        On Wednesday, the pair spent the day telling and retelling their tale to members of the media at the police chief's suite at headquarters. Reporters from Louisville to Cincinnati showed up, along with a film crew from the America's Most Wanted television show.

        The officers said the bank robbery suspect cooperated.

        “He was nervous, but he didn't resist,” said Patrolman Flannery.

        The man they arrested, Daniel T. Schwarberg of Verona, Ky., now sits in the Fayette County jail in lieu of $100,000 bail. The FBI has not charged him in the 17 other bank hold-ups attributed to Average Joe. But FBI officials think it's him.

        Lexington police said it was the excellent work of a bank teller, who ran into the parking lot to get a look at the getaway car, that probably led to the arrest.

        Business was back to normal Wednesday at the suburban Bank One branch in Lansdowne Shoppes strip mall on Tates Creek Road.

        Branch workers declined to comment about the robbery, but a Bank One spokesman in Columbus said counselors would be at the branch to help employees deal with any stress the robbery caused.

'Average Joe' robbery suspect has money woes
- Veteran cops sat, awaited robber
Driver, 16, may be tried as adult
Moving Wall: Behind each name lies someone's pain
PULFER: Keeping score? One more loss
Golfer dies after lightning strike
OSU boss urges $1B in tech spending
CPS board wants specifics on plans to restructure
New zebra fish go to work
Norwood mayor won't resign
Ohio Supreme Court gets Justin case
Shooter sentenced in murder
Summer truancy 17 percent
Father from deadbeat list arrested at airport
KIESEWETTER: USA cable scuttles 'Schott' story
Opera's 'Melisande' follows her fascination
Dylan dazzles early crowd
Pig Parade: Juicy Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
KNIPPENBERG: Purloined big pig still has its own gig
Cafeteria at Fairfield speeds up food service
Democrats' Jamboree comes to Campbell Co.
Finalists named for Franklin chief
Franklin fire chief finalists named, set to be interviewed
Genesis museum's look forming inside and out
Getting in St. X only first hurdle
Health agency seeks levy to meet demand
Homeless Ohio man inherits $300,000
Local Digest
Longtime officer to be chief
Only buyout can keep hospital open
Recall process speeding along
Renovation gives center new life
Repaving shoulders could hit $2M
Station improves emergency service, curbs road hazard
Suspect, 25, charged with murder
Suspects sought in fatal robbery
Teen may face trial as adult in shooting that left man dead
Tristate A.M. Report
Waiters ready to race on the Square
Who should be cast away?