MAQUOKETA — The Federal Bureau of Investigations is asking for the public’s help in solving three bank robberies in the last year in eastern Iowa.
FBI Agent Mike Kitsmiller spoke during a quickly-called press conference Monday in Jackson County District Court. Kitsmiller said two bank robberies in 2013 at Citizens State Bank in Oxford Junction and the Jan. 31 robbery of Ohnward Bank in Baldwin are connected.
The Citizen State Bank was robbed twice: Feb. 27, 2013 and again on July 30, 2013. Both were robbed as the bank opened. Both robbers had guns and fake facial hair. The getaway vehicles were both what Kitsmiller called “farm vehicles.”
“We think the people live around here,” the agent said. “We are hoping the pictures will jar someone’s memories. I hope they will generate a few tips.”
Kitsmiller said someone had to know about the Baldwin bank. It sits back from the road and cannot be seen from Iowa 64. It also doesn’t have a large marquee out front.
“We are concerned about the level of violence,” he said. “They have been coming in with guns out and scaring tellers. This is not a note job. Guns are drawn. They put employees in the vault and are terrorizing people at the banks. It’s just a matter of time before someone gets hurt.”
Kitsmiller said all three vehicles had distinct features. In Oxford Junction, the Feburary 2013 robbery listed a 1993 or 1994 four-wheel-drive, single-cab Chevrolet pickup truck which was blue over silver over blue. In July, the vheicle was described as a 1994 to 2001 white, two-wheel drive single cabDodge pickup truck. The truck had the word Dodge across the tailgate and an American flag decal covering the rear window.
In Baldwin, the truck was described as a 1992-95 ,white, two-wheel-drive single cab chevy pickup truck with a three-inch red stripe
“We are focusing on the three vehicles. They are adept at getting away. They slip through the fringes,” Kitsmiller. “Tips from the community are great. We just need the right tip,” he said.