Suspect In Two Abduction-Style Robberies Confesses
A suspect in six abduction-style robberies at at least two credit unions and other financial institutions has confessed to participating in the crimes and is being held without bail.
In statements made to FBI Special Agent Jeffrey Moore, 26-year-old Lamar A. Ray described how he stalked employees of Milwaukee branches of Racine-based Educators CU in order to abduct them for the purpose of robbing the credit union at two of its locations.
According to Moore's sworn affidavit, Ray admitted to planning and participating in heists pulled off between 2001 and 2004 in which several employees of Educators CU and other financial institutions were stalked and then abducted from their homes and forced to turn over keys and/or access codes so that Ray and the accomplices he recruited could rob those organizations.
He also noted how he learned from his initial experiences with Educators Credit Union and applied those lessons to ensuing heists at several check cashing outlets. The six cases Ray has admitted to being involved in are part of a rash of abduction-style robberies in Ohio and Wisconsin, with at least 12 cases still under investigation in Columbus, Ohio alone.
The method of operation in the robberies typically involved weeks of surveillance of both the financial institution and the employees to determine opening and closing patterns at the institution as well as the routines of the employees at their homes.
Armed with this information, the assailants abduct an employee-usually female and usually at her home-tying up other family members if they are present and then taking the employee to the institution to force her to give them access to the vault. In at least one failed attempt that Ray was part of, a credit union employee was shot in the shoulder near her home.
Among the credit unions that have been hit with abduction/robberies are Jeep Country FCU in Toledo, Ohio; Western and Whitehall CU in Columbus, Ohio and Educators CU. Ray has only admitted to being involved in the Wisconsin cases. U.S. Magistrate Aaron Goodstein ordered Ray be held without bond following Ray's arrest.
A spokesperson with U.S. Attorney's Office in Milwaukee said ties between the cases Ray has been arrested for and other outstanding cases are being investigated. Ray faces up to 100 years in prison and a $400,000 fine.