KOKOMO, Ind. (March 31, 2016) -- State police continue to search for suspects following a series of bank robberies in and around Kokomo this year.
This year in both Howard and Carroll Counties, there have been a half-dozen bank robberies in just three months.
On Tuesday, thousands of law enforcement officers gathered to pay their respects to fallen deputy Carl Koontz. At that exact time, one suspect went into a Kokomo bank armed with a handgun and demanded cash, much to the chagrin of law enforcement.
“There’s always going to be a segment of society that preys on people when they’re vulnerable. It was a gut punch because it was of the day of funeral, but we’re doing our best to be professional,” said Sgt. Tony Slocum with Indiana State Police.
Because Kokomo police were attending Koontz’s funeral, Indiana State Police took over investigating the robbery at Key Bank on Tuesday.
State police are also investigating a robbery last week at the First Farmers bank in Russiaville. That’s where a suspect held up that bank the day after deputy Koontz was shot, although it’s not clear if the two cases are in any way connected.
“We believe those two suspects are different and whether the robberies are related we haven’t made that determination yet,” said Slocum.
Kokomo police are also looking into several other bank robberies this year starting at the BMO Harris bank in Kokomo. Back in January, a hooded and masked suspect came in armed with a gun and stole some cash. The same day at Security Federal Savings bank in Kokomo, another suspect wearing yellow committed the same crime.
Also in nearby Carroll County, video images show a bank in Flora being robbed on two occasions.
State police say so far no bank employees have been injured in any of the stickups, but they still want to catch all the suspects and hopefully bring an end to the dangerous crime trend.
“I feel for the tellers in these banks. They’re just trying to do their job. So the quicker we can get suspects in custody the quicker we can bring comfort to all the people who work in all our local banks,” said Slocum.
Police did arrest one suspect who lives in Kokomo for one of the robberies in Carroll County.
Anyone with information on any of the other cases is asked to contact law enforcement.