Brothers Gang Convicted In Record CUHeist

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - (05/13/05) -- Two brothers were convicted lastweek in a string of kidnap-style robberies at credit unions, banksand check cashers in which employees of the businesses wereabducted, then forced to open their facilities for the crooks,including what may be the biggest credit union robbery ever. Thebrothers, Gary Watkins and Eric Watkins, were found guilty of akidnap-style robbery at Western CU in July 2003, in which theystole $643,000. A team led by the two brothers broke into the houseof a credit union employee the night before the heist and told herto cooperate or be killed. She and her daughters were tied up until5 am the next morning when the men took her to the credit union,but she couldn't open the vault. So the robbers waited until theemployee who could open the vault reported to work, ended up tyingup seven employees and the woman's two young daughters, and madeoff with the cash. Two other brothers involved in the crime spree,Frankie Lee Jones and Darryl Jones, cut a deal to testify againstthe Watkinses in exchange for reduced jail time. The gang was alsobelieved to be responsible for the May 2003 robbery of $145,000from Whitehall CU, and several other heists with a total take ofmore than $1 million.

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