Thursday, July 13, 2000
Veteran cops sat, awaited robber
2 staked out highway at county line
By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer
LEXINGTON The call came over the police scanner: The bank robber's getaway car was a gold-colored, 2000 four-door Mitsubishi Mirage.
Officers David Flannery and Lee Shimizu arrested bank robbery suspect Daniel Schwarberg.
(Michael E. Keating photo)
| ZOOM |
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.
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