Two More Arrested In Biggest CURobbery

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - (12/06/04) -- Two more suspects were indicted 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. Thesuspects, as well as two others arrested earlier this year, arebelieved to have abducted managers then forced them to openWhitehall CU in May 2003, when they stole $145,000, then Western CUthis past July 27, making off with $643,000 in what is believed tobe the biggest credit union robbery ever. The gang is believed tobe responsible for as many as a dozen kidnap robberies in which asmuch as $1 million was stolen, according to Patrick Berarducci,special agent for the U.S. Department of Alcohol, Tobacco andFirearms, which helped crack the case. So far, little of the stolenloot has been recovered, he said. "We felt these guys were verydangerous people and it could only be a matter of time beforesomebody got hurt," Berarducci told The Credit Union Journal. Thesuspects charged last week were: Frankie Jones and Gary Watkins.Watkins' brother, Eric Watkins, and a fourth suspect, SheenaBowles, were charged earlier. Authorities have not been able tolink the case to last week's arrest of a Milwaukee man suspected ina similar spree of kidnap robberies at credit unions and checkcashers, according to Berarducci.

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