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Federal prosecutors indict alleged AK-47 Bandit accused in several bank heists in multiple states

July 9, 2017  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Federal prosecutors indict alleged AK-47 Bandit accused in several bank heists in multiple states

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Federal prosecutors in Seattle have secured a grand jury indictment against a Montana man accused of being the AK-47 Bandit in connection with a 2012 bank robbery in Washington State.

According to an FBI press release, federal investigators have implicated 39-year-old Richard Lee Gathercole, for a series of bank robberies over a three-year period from 2012 to 2015.

On one instance, Gathercole is alleged to have shot and wounded a police officer during an armed heist in Chino, California in February 2012.

A grand jury indicted Gathercole in Seattle Federal Court with multiple counts including bank robbery and possession of a weapon in furtherance of a violent crime, The FBI reported.

The charges stemmed from the armed robbery of a bank in North Bend Washington on July 6, 2012.

Richard Lee Gathercole was indicted in Seattle Federal Court earlier this week

The Dawson County Sheriff’s Office in Nebraska arrested Gathercole on June 19th, 2017, following a multi-state high-speed pursuit, which started in Kansas.

During a subsequent search of the suspect’s home in Roundup, Montana on June 24th, 2017,  FBI investigators discovered several pieces of evidence directly linking Gathercole to multiple robberies.

Moreover, Gathercole is believed to have access to several vehicles matching the description of those used as getaway cars during various bank heists.

Federal prosecutors sought an indictment once investigators had determined there was enough criminal evidence to attribute Gathercole to the AK-47 Bandit bank robberies.

The ‘AK-47’ suspect faces charges in Nebraska; other states line up for extradition | KHGI

Among the series of heists linked to the AK-47 Bandit include:

  • February 29, 2012, hold-up of the California Bank & Trust in Chino, California.
  • March 12, 2012, armed robbery of the Bank of the West in Vacaville, California.
  • July 6, 2012, stick-up of a Chase Bank in North Bend, Washington.
  • November 7, 2012, robbery of the East Idaho Credit Union, in Rexburg, Idaho.
  • August 22, 2014, armed hold-up of the First Nebraska Bank in Nebraska City.
  • July 28, 2015, bank robbery of the Heartland Community Credit Union in Mason City, Idaho.

Also, the AK-47 bandit stands accused in the March 9, 2012, attempted robbery of the Tri-Cities Bank, in Sacramento, California.

Officials said additional indictments against Gathercole are forthcoming in several other jurisdictions where robberies have occurred. He currently remains remanded on no bail.

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