Texting CU Teller Implicated In $183,000 Heist

Register now

ARLINGTON, Texas – A teller at Texas Trust CU who first appeared to be a victim in a $183,000 robbery is accused of orchestrating the crime from the inside, even sending the robber text messages telling him not to forget his sunglasses and warning about a co-worker who “screams at scary movies.”

On Sept. 1, a robber hid in the bathroom at the credit union, according to the FBI. He then emerged after closing time, confronted startled employees and forced them into a vault before fleeing with $183,000 in cash.

Four hours later police arrested a suspect at a traffic stop who appeared to be wearing the same black t-shirt he wore in the credit union robbery. But preliminary investigation indicated the robber, identified as Tyce Franklin, had help, apparently inside the credit union.

Teller Kyle Lightner, who was working at the time of the robbery, appeared at first to be a victim. But investigators became suspicious because he had stayed at the credit union past his normal shift and surveillance video showed he was sending text messages shortly before the robbery happened.

A search of his cell phone found he was texting Franklin, the FBI said.

“Don’t forget yo sunglasses,” court documents quoted Lightner as texting Franklin. Franklin responded: “Alrite.”

The teller also appeared to give the robber a refresher on the layout of the credit union and where the drive-through area was located.

“Just in case u don’t remember, just go in the front and walk straight…then u will see this hallway and my closet will be to the left,” Lightner is quoted as texting.

In another text message, the FBI said Lightner warned about a co-worker who “screams at scary movies, so be calm.”

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.
MORE FROM AMERICAN BANKER