Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Tracking device helped Carrollton police snag bank robber 5 miles from scene of crime
The accused burglar's car was right in front of his residence.
Friday morning, just before 9:30, a man dressed in black — black hat, black jacket, black pants, black shoes with a buckle — walked into the BBVA Compass Bank branch on East Trinity Mills Road in Carrollton, between Marsh Lane and Midway Road, and pointed a gun at the teller. The man offered her a plastic bag and told her to fill it with money, which is just what the terrified teller did. She filled the sack with $13,753 in cash. She also gave the man a little something extra: an electronic tracking device.
And that, long story short, is how Carrollton police came to arrest 37-year-old Rodney Dewayne Womack not long after the bank robbery. According to documents filed in federal court, he then admitted to the whole thing.
In an affidavit accompanying the criminal complaint, FBI Task Force Officer William Ellstrom says that after the robbery, Womack ran across the street and through an apartment complex, where he disappeared. Officers from Richardson and Addison were called in to help canvas the area. At that point, says Ellstrom, “The equipment in the squad cars detected a signal from the electronic tracking device.”
The signal got stronger and stronger, until Carrollton officers found themselves about 5 miles from the scene of the crime: an apartment complex near Belt Line and Preston Roads in Dallas. They were able to hone in on one very specific vehicle: a gray Toyota 4-Runner, whose hood was still warm to the touch. Inside were the very same black suede-and-buckle shoes the teller had described to police.
The officers found out whose car it was: Rodney Womack’s. They asked the apartment manager where he lived. Turned out, the Toyota was parked right in front of his place. Officers set up a perimeter and told Womack to come out with his hands up. He finally did. And, Ellstrom says, Womack admitted to the whole thing, and is now looking at the possibility of 20 years in federal prison.
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