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Archive for Friday, August 7, 1992

L ROBBERY CHARGED IN FEDERAL COURT

August 7, 1992

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A Kansas City, Mo., woman who allegedly robbed a downtown Lawrence savings and loan Thursday then went to a local restaurant for beers and tacos has been charged in federal court with bank robbery.

Carol Ann Scroggins, 50, made a first appearance Thursday evening before U.S. Magistrate Ronald C. Newman in Topeka, who scheduled a detention hearing for 9 a.m. Tuesday. Scroggins, who is charged with one count of bank robbery, is being held without bond and is in the custody of the U.S. Marshal's Service.

An affadavit prepared by FBI agent Robert Meredith and filed along with the charges gives the following account of the robbery:

Scroggins entered Columbia Savings, 901 Vt., about 11:45 a.m., told a 22-year-old teller she was robbing the institution and demanded $3,000 in cash. Scroggins then showed the teller a silver pistol, which authorities later learned was a toy.

THE TELLER counted out what she thought was $3,000 and gave it to Scroggins in three paper-clipped stacks. Authorities later discovered the teller had inadvertently given Scroggins an extra $20, for a total of $3,020.

Scroggins then put the toy gun in a bag and walked out of the savings and loan with the cash in her hands. Scroggins reportedly purchased the toy gun at F.W. Woolworth Co., 911 Mass.

A customer followed Scroggins from the bank to Low Rider Mexican Cafe, 943 Mass., where Scroggins ordered a beer and a meal. A report Thursday incorrectly stated that it was a teller who followed Scroggins out of the bank.

Scroggins reportedly ordered a beer and two tacos after entering the restaurant. Before she was arrested, a waiter said Thursday, Scroggins had finished one beer and had ordered another one.

LAWRENCE police reported Thursday that the bank customer who followed Scroggins called officers, who sealed off the cafe and blocked pedestrian and automobile traffic in the 900 block of Massachusetts. While officers outside motioned for customers to leave the restaurant, police called the owner of the cafe, Steve Gutierrez, and instructed him to discreetly clear customers and employees from the building.

About 12:15 p.m., officers entered the cafe with their weapons drawn and arrested Scroggins. No shots were fired, and no one was hurt in the robbery or the arrest.

After a day that gave new meaning to the term lunch rush, business has returned to normal at Low Riders, Gutierrez said. He said the incident has been topic of several conversations that often begin with customers saying, "I heard you had some excitement in here yesterday."

BRENT ANDERSON, an assistant U.S. attorney in Wichita, said this morning that Scroggins told FBI agents she had planned to use cash from the robbery to go to Alaska.

Anderson said the affadavit does not say why Scroggins had chosen to come to Lawrence or whether she had been staying here. Scroggins reportedly checked out of a Lawrence hotel shortly before the robbery.

Anderson said Scroggins had been released from Arizona State Prison in June 1991 after serving a sentence for a June 1986 bank robbery in Tucson.

He said that if convicted, Scroggins faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

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