The suspect in last week’s robbery of the Platte Valley Bank in Dearborn, Mo. appears to be a man on a crime spree with criminal ties to the area.
Jesse Bud Leaverton, 58, allegedly robbed an Arvest Bank in Tulsa on Saturday, June 18, according to court documents, and remains on the run. He’s also the suspect in the Dearborn robbery two days later and two other similar bank robberies in Oklahoma that occurred later in the week.
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 indicates Leaverton is the suspect in the Dearborn robbery as well as a Thursday, June 23 robbery of a Bank of America in Tulsa. He’s also believed to be the suspect in a Friday, June 24 bank robbery in Fairfax, Okla.
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.
The first Tulsa robbery occurred at about 11:30 a.m. when a man entered the bank and gave a note to a teller demanding $100, $50 and $20 bills, implying he had a gun. The suspect, who did not attempt to hide his face and was later identified as Leaverton, reportedly got away with $1,539.
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. Anyone with information on the suspect or the robbery in Dearborn is asked to call the Platte County Sheriff’s Office at (816) 858-3521.
According to court documents, the police chief in Talala, Okla. saw the suspect in the 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.”
Using a driver’s license photo and a mug shot from his previous time in prison, police identified Leaverton as the man shown robbing the bank in surveillance images, according to court documents.
In still images from the first robbery and the Dearborn robbery, the suspect can be seen with a pair of glasses hanging from the neck of a button down shirt.