'Takeover Bandits' Terrorize Rural CUs and Banks

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TYLER - Police believe a two violent robbers who hit First State Bank in Palestine are the same ones responsible for recent hold-ups at five other area institutions, including two credit unions. The First State Bank robbers had similar 'M.O.'s' as those in the other robberies; they leaped over the teller counters, rifled through the cash drawers, then escaped in stolen vehicles, police said. The pair, called the Takeover Bandits by police, are believed responsible for armed robberies at Kelly FCU, in Tyler, and East Texas Professional CU, as well as at Austin Bank, Citizens State Bank and Bank of America. In each case, the robbers stole getaway cars a day before the robbery, then abandoned them in various locations afterwards. All of them also occurred early in the morning, with no customers present.

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