Security Firm Hatched Plan For CUHeists

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ST. LOUIS - (02/06/06) – The former owners of a securitycompany testified last week that he developed the idea for thefirst in what turned out to be a series of credit union and bankrobberies that netted an estimated $1.4 million. Franklin Morris,whose small security company had a contract to guard St. LouisCommunity CU, told a federal court he kept the key to the creditunion’s back door and gave it to Otis McAllister in June2000. McAllister and an accomplice then used the key to enter thecredit union early in the morning on June 12, 2000, then make offwith $266,000, Morris testified. Another strategy developed byMcAllister’s gang was to hide near the back door of a creditunion or bank branch early in the morning, then hijack employees asthey arrived to work and force them to let them in, open the vault,then turn over cash. Morris has pleaded guilty to four counts,including conspiracy to rob or attempt to rob 18 financialinstitutions, and has agreed to testify against McAllister.Prosecutors charge McAllister and six accomplices used the schemesto rob nine credit unions and banks in Missouri, Illinois and Ohio,among them were two of the biggest credit union robberies ever; theJune 12, 2000 theft of Jennings, Mo., branch of St. Louis CommunityCU $266,293 and the December 8, 2000 theft of $211,590 from the St.Louis branch of the same credit union. The gang also hit SouthCommunity CU, in St. Louis, for $196,000, and attempted robberiesat Alliance CU, Hazelwood, Mo., Southern Illinois Area CU, MidwestCU, Florissant, Mo., Gateway Federal Employees CU, Pine Lawn, Mo.And First Community CU, Fairview Heights, Ill., according toprosecutors.

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