'Fake Beard Bandit' pleads guilty to Joplin bank robbery and others
Updated June 27, 2012: A Tulsa man who became known for wearing a fake beard while robbing banks in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma was sentenced to just over 11 years in federal prison on Tuesday.
Jason Day - known as the "fake beard bandit" - pled guilty to seven armed bank robberies in February of last year.
One of the sentences is for a July 13, 2011 robbery in Joplin. Authorities say Day entered the Hometown Bank on 32nd Street with a gun and demanded money from tellers.
Updated February 24, 2012: FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) - An Oklahoma man nicknamed the "Fake Beard Bandit" has pleaded guilty to eight bank robberies in Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas.
Jason Andrew Day entered his plea Thursday in federal court in Fort Smith. Day was arrested Aug. 26, three days after a Liberty Bank in Fort Smith was robbed.
Court records show that Day is accused of taking more than $70,000 from banks in Fort Smith; Oklahoma City; Coweta, Okla; Shawnee and Olathe, Kan.; and Joplin, Mo.
Prosecutors say Day entered the banks wearing a large, obviously fake beard. He demanded money while brandishing what police later learned was a BB gun that looked like a handgun.
His sentencing has not yet been set. A public defender representing Day didn't immediately return a message seeking comment Thursday.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Updated July 15, 2011 at 3:10 PM CST: Authorities say the suspect in Wednesday's Hometown Bank bank robbery in Joplin was at a second bank earlier that afternoon. They have now released surveillance photos taken at Mid-Missouri Bank - those are displayed to the right.
If you recognize this individual please call the Joplin Police Department at 417-623-3131 or call Heartland Crime Stoppers at 417-782-TIPZ.
News release issued by Joplin Police Department
On July 15, 2011 Detectives with the Joplin Police Department learned that the suspect involved with the robbery at Hometown Bank on July 13, 2011 had been in the Mid-Missouri Bank at approximately 3:30 p.m. on that same day. The Mid-Missouri Bank is located at 2230 E. 32nd Street in Joplin. The Police Department was able to obtain pictures of the suspect from when he entered this bank.
Anyone with any information as to the identity of this suspect is encouraged to contact the Joplin Police Department at 417-623-3131. An anonymous tip can also be submitted at the Joplin Police Department Website www.joplinpolice.org <http://www.joplinpolice.org> under the wanted person's page or by contacting Heartland Crime Stoppers at 417-782-TIPZ.
Updated July 14, 2011 at 3:05 PM CST: The Joplin Police Department has released surveillance photos of the suspect in Wednesday's bank robbery at Hometown Bank on East 32nd Street in Joplin.
One of the photos released is of the backside of the suspect before the robbery took place. Two photos are of the suspect when he committed the robbery, wearing a fake beard.
News release issued July 14 by Joplin Police Department:
Added information—The suspect vehicle is a early to mid 2000 model gray four door Volkswagen. A picture of a generic type vehicle is attached along with pictures of the suspect. There is one picture of the backside of the suspect when he was in the bank before the robbery and two pictures of the suspect from when he entered the bank to commit the robbery.
On July 13, 2011 at just before 4:30 p.m. the Joplin Police Department was notified of an armed robbery that had just occurred at Hometown Bank located at 1429 E. 32nd Street. The suspect was described as a white male, possibly in his mid 30's, 5'10" approximately 180 pounds, wearing a hat, long sleeve shirt and possibly wearing a fake beard. The suspect was in the bank prior to the robbery wearing a black cap, black shirt, brown shorts, black shoes and dark sunglasses. The suspect re-entered the bank after about 30 minutes had passed and demanded money from the tellers. The suspect displayed a black handgun during the robbery. There were no reports of any injuries from the robbery. The suspect was seen leaving the area in a newer model gray Volkswagen with Oklahoma tags. The vehicle was last seen going south on Connecticut from 32nd Street. The suspect left the bank with an undisclosed amount of money.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Joplin Police Department or your local law enforcement.
Updated July 13, 2011 at 5:55 PM CST: Authorities have confirmed that the suspect was seeing driving a 4-door, gray Volvo with Oklahoma tags.
Reported July 13, 2011 at 4:53 PM CST: Joplin police are searching for a suspect after the Hometown Bank at 1429 East 32nd Street was robbed just after 4:30 p.m. today.
Police say the suspect was armed with a black handgun.
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