The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Cops, courts and fires

December 23, 2013

Fort Wayne grand jury indicts bank robbery suspect

ANDERSON — A man suspected of robbing a southside Anderson bank on Nov. 26 was indicted by a grand jury in Fort Wayne.

Stephen Mark Long, 28, of Auburn, is charged with a single count indictment in connection with the Nov. 18 robbery of Star Financial Bank at 7110 Lima Road, Fort Wayne. Just over a week later, on Nov. 26, Long was arrested shortly after the Star Financial branch at 1503 E. 53rd St. in Anderson was robbed about 10:30 a.m. The indictment was announced Dec. 16 by U.S. Northern District of Indiana Attorney David Capp.

After the Anderson robbery, Anderson Police Department public information officer Joel Sandefur said Long was questioned by APD officers and FBI agents and admitted to both robberies.

According to a press release from Sandefur, a man walked into the branch, walked up to a teller and handed over a note indicating he had a gun and demanding money. The teller handed over an undisclosed amount of cash and the man left the branch. It was later discovered the man had been armed with a BB gun but never showed it. Sandefur said it was a quiet crime.

“It wasn’t violent,” Sandefur said. “One of the witnesses standing right next to him said they didn’t realize what was happening.”

The suspect left the area in a 2000 Dodge Durango. An off-duty firefighter who was inside the bank during the robbery then followed the sport utility vehicle, called 911 and provided dispatchers with information about the SUV’s direction. When Long stopped at the Speedway gas station at 73rd Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard, the witness pulled in behind him and distracted him long enough for police to arrive. Long was taken into custody without incident by Madison County sheriff’s deputies.

Sandefur said the robbery had many of the earmarkings of the Fort Wayne robbery that happened just a week earlier. During that robbery, a man in his mid-20s entered the bank and handed a teller a note demanding cash and indicating he was armed. The man kept his hand in his coat pocket the entire time, as though he were concealing a weapon. The robber left the bank in an SUV matching the description of the one Long used.

According to the release from Capp, the investigation of the robberies is being handled by the FBI Northeast Indiana Federal Bank Robbery Task Force.

Like Jack Molitor on Facebook and follow him @aggiejack4 on Twitter, or call 640-4883.

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