Suspect in Dearborn bank robbery apprehended back in Missouri

Authorities apprehended the suspect in a bank robbery committed last month in Dearborn, Mo., finding him back in the Show-Me State.

On the morning of Thursday, June 30, the Missouri Highway Patrol and the Northern District of Oklahoma United States Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force took Jesse Bud Leaverton, 58, into custody in Springfield, Mo. Authorities began trailing him in Joplin, Mo. before making the arrest near the intersection of Route FF and the James River Freeway on the southwest edge of Springfield.

Leaverton was returned to Tulsa County in Oklahoma where he faces a federal charge in a bank robbery that apparently started a weeklong crime spree.

On Saturday, June 18, Leaverton allegedly robbed an Arvest Bank in Tulsa, and charges were filed against him for the crime. The investigation revealed him to be the suspect in the robbery of the Dearborn branch of Platte Valley Bank on Monday, June 20, and he allegedly committed similar crimes Thursday, June 23 at a Bank of America in Tulsa and Friday, June 24 at Security State Bank in Fairfax, Okla.

Images from surveillance videos in all four robberies show a man in his 50s with tattoos. In each case, the man passes a note to the tellers, and on at least two occasions, indicated he has a weapon, although none have been brandished.

A police chief in Talala, Okla. identified him as the suspect in the first Tulsa robbery, and with help from a Crime Stoppers tip, authorities pursued him as the suspect. On Tuesday, June 21, a federal charge was filed against Leaverton in the U.S. District Court of Northern Oklahoma.

A press release from the FBI indicated Leaverton as the suspect in the Dearborn robbery as well as the Thursday, June 23 Bank of America robbery back in Tulsa.

Leaverton previously served time in federal prison for a bank robbery in St. Joseph, Mo. that occurred in 1992. He was released from custody on five years of supervised release in 2012, according to court documents.

According to court documents, the police chief in Talala, Okla. saw the suspect in the June 18 Tulsa bank robbery on a news broadcast and called to identify him as Leaverton with local authorities. Court documents show that two days later police received a tip that Leaverton had announced plans to rob a bank and “go out with a bang.”

Two days later, a man entered Platte Valley bank in Dearborn, Mo. at about 8:50 a.m. and passed a note to tellers. He left with an undisclosed amount of cash, but authorities did not have a vehicle description nor direction of travel.

No weapon was believed to be used.

Deputies with the Platte County Sheriff’s Office along with investigators from the FBI responded to the scene just after 9 a.m., closing off the building while speaking with witnesses.

According to a spokesman with the sheriff’s office, it was unknown if any customers were in the bank at the time of the crime. However, a woman at the scene indicated the 10-year-old daughter of an employee was inside.

Investigators cleared the scene at about 11 a.m., and the bank reopened at about 11:15 a.m.

No charges have been filed against Leaverton in Missouri at this time.