Archive for Friday, December 2, 2011

Suspect in Central National Bank robbery linked to earlier robbery

Lawrence police say Elliot R. Werner, 25, Lawrence, is responsible for the July 14 and November 30 robberies of the Central National Bank branch on West Ninth Street, as well as two failed attempts on the bank.

Lawrence police say Elliot R. Werner, 25, Lawrence, is responsible for the July 14 and November 30 robberies of the Central National Bank branch on West Ninth Street, as well as two failed attempts on the bank.

December 2, 2011, 1:49 p.m. Updated December 2, 2011, 5:22 p.m.

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Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson said Friday that the man suspected of robbing Central National Bank on Wednesday had targeted the financial institution since last summer.

The district attorney has filed two counts of robbery against Elliot R. Werner, 25, Lawrence, in connection with the robbery earlier this week.

Elliot R. Werner

Elliot R. Werner

Security cameras at Central National Bank in Lawrence captured these photos of the man who robbed the bank July 15.

Security cameras at Central National Bank in Lawrence captured these photos of the man who robbed the bank July 15.

Security cameras at Central National Bank captured these photos of the man who robbed the bank on Thursday.

Security cameras at Central National Bank captured these photos of the man who robbed the bank on Thursday.

In addition, Branson said in court that prosecutors believed Werner attempted to rob the bank on July 13 and Nov. 25, and he succeeded on July 14 and Wednesday. Lawrence police and the FBI publicly released a photo of the suspect after the July 14 robbery at Central National, 603 W. Ninth St., but Friday was the first time Branson indicated the earlier robberies were linked to Wednesday’s robbery.

“We do anticipate filing additional charges for the earlier offenses, and we believe those changes would mean Mr. Werner is subject to long-term incarceration,” Branson said Friday in asking for a $250,000 bond.

Defense attorney Kevin Babbitt asked pro-tem judge James George to set bond at $50,000 because Werner would agree to electronic monitoring by a bonding company and live with his sister in Lawrence as he decides how to assist in his own defense.

George did order electronic monitoring if Werner posts bond, which he set at $150,000.

Babbitt said Werner had lived in Lawrence for several years but was originally from the Chicago area.

Branson said prosecutors filed two charges in connection with Wednesday’s robbery because two bank tellers were listed as victims. Werner is next scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 21. Branson provided few details about the attempted robbery allegations other than to say Werner “approached the bank” July 13 and Nov. 25.

After Friday’s hearing, prosecutors met with two bank tellers, one who was a victim in the July robbery and one who was a victim of both.

“I think they were relieved to have somebody arrested,” Branson said. “They had concerns that he may make bond.”

Werner, who Lawrence police officers apprehended Wednesday after a brief foot chase, could have faced federal charges for the robbery because the bank is FDIC-insured, but Branson said he and federal prosecutors decided to proceed in state court because they believe he could face a stiffer prison sentence if convicted.

The two robbery charges Branson filed in connection with Wednesday’s incident are mid-level felonies that each carry from 31 months to 136 months in prison, but prosecutors are seeking to file additional charges for the earlier incidents.

“Our ability to seek a lengthier sentence will come in the fact that we will seek a conviction in this case and a conviction in a second case where he will have an increased criminal history,” he said.

Branson said his office had seen cases in the past in which suspects return to a business they have robbed before.

“Robbery, by its very nature, is a violent crime,” the district attorney said, “with the potential for victims, witnesses and bystanders to be hurt. Therefore, that makes it a very serious crime in general.”

Comments

Steve Jacob 3 years, 9 months ago

If first offensive, no weapon, not that many years. I assume it was not the same guy who robbed the place earlier this year?

sad_lawrencian 3 years, 9 months ago

Maybe the owners/managers of Central National Bank should consider closing this branch, instead of closing the other branches that people actually use and don't get robbed? This is at least the second story I've heard of this particular branch getting robbed in the past year or two.

art_and_science 3 years, 8 months ago

That's an odd question. Why do you ask it?

vonruck 3 years, 9 months ago

Same guy as July according to the tellers at the bank. They just never caught him the first time. No gun just finger in pocked.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years, 9 months ago

Comments made by the mothers of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow after their crime spree had ended:

"And I prayed only last night that I might see him alive again, just once more!" - Cumie Barrow (Clyde Barrow's mother), after she was told that her son was dead.

"I remember I was sewing." - Emma Parker (Bonnie Parker's mother), commenting on what she had been doing when the telephone rang to tell her of her daughter's death.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 9 months ago

Three hots and a cot. Free medical. Conjugal visits. Then add in the ACLU advocating for better conditions, a weight room, basketball courts. Hey, it's not that bad. How about we cut off a finger for each conviction for theft. Pretty soon, the problem will take care of itself.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 9 months ago

"Three hots and a cot. Free medical. Conjugal visits. Then add in the ACLU advocating for better conditions, a weight room, basketball courts."

Sounds like you're tempted to commit a robbery yourself. Before doing so, perhaps you should find out the true facts of what prison life is like. This guy probably should have done so, as well.

jayhawkinsf 3 years, 9 months ago

I'm an absolute believer in that old saying, "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime". And since I know I can't do the time, I don't do the crime. But there seems to be a certain sub-set of our population that does quite well in prison, given they choose to go back there over and over again.
Maybe instead of taking their liberty as a consequence of their actions, we should take a finger. Or at least give them the choice. The problem would indeed take care of itself after a while. And people would know who not to employ in jobs involving cash, trust and honesty. Or even if one thinks prison is a place to be avoided, perhaps we should make it even more so. Remove the basketball courts, the weight rooms and the televisions. Eliminate the conjugal visits. Make the "cot" slightly less comfortable and the "three hots" slightly less tasty. I know that as things become less desirable, I avoid them. Perhaps they would also.

Jayhawk1958 3 years, 9 months ago

I would just love to go to prison just so I could play basketball, use the weight rooms and watch T.V.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 9 months ago

Your litany of the "comforts" of prison are exaggerated, at best, and therefore do nothing to justify your suggestion of injecting even more sadism into our prison systems.

There certainly is a segment of the prison population who started their prison "careers" as kids. Their brief stints on the outside usually consist of nothing more than rejection and poverty. Just because they are destined to fail under such circumstances doesn't mean that making prison even more tortuous than it is will have any effect on rates of recidivism.

jayhawkinsf 3 years, 9 months ago

It must be nice living in an upside down world, where victimizers are victims and victims are forgotten and never mentioned.

Getaroom 3 years, 9 months ago

What ever happened to dye packs, or does that only happen in movies and not in FDIC banks?

The cutting off of fingers might prevent him from picking his nose and locks, but still it takes tax dollars to incarcerate him. That darn BIG government fouling everything up yet again with prisons to big to fail. We should let the "free market" take care of these criminals - that would show 'em by golly! Send him home with a couple of Tea Party/Republican lobbyists that should take care of the issue quite nicely.

Another option for punishment: send him home with Charles Krauthammer and George Will and that should be prison enough for anyone.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 9 months ago

"“Robbery, by its very nature, is a violent crime,” the district attorney said, “with the potential for victims, witnesses and bystanders to be hurt. Therefore, that makes it a very serious crime in general.”

I agree.

Now when are the white collar Wall Street bank robbers going to stand trial. They have destroyed millions of lives and our economy.

50YearResident 3 years, 9 months ago

He came from the Chicago area a few years ago, was he "homeless" when he came to Lawrence?

matahari 3 years, 9 months ago

Since when does "good looking" have anything to do with homelessness? Truth be told, I could pick this guy from a crowd, and certainly wouldn't buy a used car from him

Flap Doodle 3 years, 9 months ago

When is AG Holder going to trial for having master-minded a scheme that has resulted in the deaths of at least 200 Mexican citizens and at least one American law-enforcement officer?

Bailey Perkins 3 years, 9 months ago

In response to questions and concerns: 1. He 'use' to be the volunteer coordinator at the Lawrence Humane Society, but quit a few months back. 2. Last I knew, he lived near Haskell with several roommates a

50YearResident 3 years, 9 months ago

What do you think the penalty for bank robery should be? Bank robery is a federal offense, gas station robery is not.

Bailey Perkins 3 years, 9 months ago

I wonder if and when we will find out what went wrong. Started volunteering at the humane society while he was still in charge and hung out with him this past March/April, but haven't heard anything from him since then.

Bailey Perkins 3 years, 9 months ago

That was supposed to be a reply to tracey_gold....

RoeDapple 3 years, 9 months ago

tracey_gold (anonymous) replies… "He is too good looking to be homeless."

That oughta help where he's going . . .

smamms 3 years, 9 months ago

Why do my posts keep getting removed? dude is a menace who drives blackout drunk on a daily basis. Be glad he is in jail and not out there putting your friends and family in danger.

Kicker14 3 years, 9 months ago

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