How 2 Bank Robbers Were Caught for Carjacking
According to an article in WPTV News Channel 5, three suspects are being held at the Palm Beach County Jail faced with several charges in connection with a bank robbery and carjacking on Tuesday in West Palm Beach. Investigators are saying the bank robbery was an inside job.
Assistant manager Barbara Hauck gave information and helped plan the heist with her boyfriend, Juan Mercado, and friend, Clifford Davis, the night before. Hauck informed the men that a large store had made a big deposit and there would be a lot of cash on hand the next day.
The FBI says at 9:45 Tuesday morning two men drove a motorcycle inside the Chase Bank on South Dixie Highway. Police say once inside, they pushed a bank employee and stole cash. The duo left the bank by motorcycle and crashed into the back of a delivery truck at the I-95 northbound on-ramp entrance at Southern Boulevard.
A woman who stopped to help was carjacked. Her car was later discovered in the Westgate area.
Police say the two robbers got away with $150,000. They were later able to recover about $100,000. They say the trio confessed to the crime as well as two others. One at the same location in June of last year and the other at an unspecified bank in Lantana.
Hauck, Mercado and Davis made their first appearance in federal court Wednesday morning.
Grand theft would be just one of the many charges in this crime.
According to Florida Statute 812.014:
A person commits grand theft if the property stolen is valued at $100,000 or more; or
1. If the property stolen is cargo valued at $50,000 or more that has entered the stream of interstate or intrastate commerce from the shipper’s loading platform to the consignee’s receiving dock; or
2. If the offender commits any grand theft and:
a. In the course of committing the offense the offender uses a motor vehicle as an instrumentality, other than merely as a getaway vehicle, to assist in committing the offense and thereby damages the real property of another; or
b. In the course of committing the offense the offender causes damage to the real or personal property of another in excess of $1,000, the offender commits grand theft in the first degree, punishable as a felony of the first degree with a fine of $10,000 and 30 years to life imprisonment.
Grand theft determines the severity of the crime solely on the value of the property stolen. If stolen property has a monetary value of $300 or more, it can be considered grand theft, which is a third degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment. Consult a criminal defense lawyer who can help you understand your rights and everything that might happen as a result of your trial.
If you did not commit the crime of grand theft, a criminal defense attorney can help you prepare an aggressive defense and force the state to prove its case. Many theft charges can be resolved through a diversion program called pre-trial intervention.