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Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014

Bank Robbery to Bomb Scare

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

(Photo)
An ATF officer removes what was believed to be an explosive device from a bank robbery suspect on the parking lot of Arby's Monday afternoon
(Photo by Tim Jaynes, Staff)
Sikeston man is in federal custody after robbery goes bad

SIKESTON -- One man is currently in custody after a bank robbery attempt Monday morning turned into a bomb scare.

Brad G. Brown, 23, of Sikeston, is in federal custody under charges of bank robbery after a wild chain of events Monday. No bond has been set.

According to witnesses, Brown entered First Security State Bank at just before 9:30 a.m. and presented a note demanding money, informing the teller he was armed with a bomb. After receiving an undisclosed amount of money, he left the bank and fled south on Main Street to Arby's.

DPS patrol officers then located the suspect on the south side of Arby's.

(Photo)
Brad Brown
"When the officers handcuffed him they felt the device," said Lieutenant Mark Crocker. "We knew from the original call he had already indicated he had a bomb so (the officers) placed him on the ground and took a cover position."

The FBI and ATF were then notified and responded to the call along with the Missouri State Highway Patrol Bomb Disposal unit in Jefferson City. DPS officers then covered Brown with a bomb blanket until ATF agents arrived.

A blow up shelter obtained from the Dexter Fire Department was also brought to the scene and used to cover up the suspect until a determination could be made as to the existence of a bomb. Agents from the ATF approached Brown and did a quick assessment of the scene, removing the device from his mid-section and lying it on the ground. Brown was then placed under arrest and taken to the Sikeston DPS headquarters pending his transfer into federal custody.

Due to the possibility of the bomb, Highway 61 had to be shut down because of its proximity to the location where Brown was taken into custody.

Crocker said the actions by DPS were common in a situation such as this.

(Photo)
A robot used by the Highway Patrol Bomb unit checks the bag carried by Brad Brown
(Photo by Tim Jaynes, Staff)
"We have to err on the side of caution at this point," Crocker said. "We aren't trained in that field and now-a-days you can make bombs out of practically anything."

Upon arrival of the Highway Patrol bomb unit, a robot was deployed to check the device that was around Brown's mid-section and a bag which he was also carrying.

"The only thing he had was the device he had on his person (Brown) but we also had to check the bag he was carrying to see if it had anything in it," Crocker said.

The device around Brown's mid-section proved to be a hoax and money from the robbery was found in the bag. According to interviews conducted by the FBI and DPS detectives throughout the day, it was found that Brown had caught a cab to Arby's and the cab was waiting for his return.

Crocker said that two officers were treated for heat exhaustion but no other injuries were reported.

DPS Director Drew Juden expressed his thanks to all of the assistance and cooperation received during the four-hour event.