Bank Teller Caught Texting Bank Robber Right Before Robbery

from the inside-job dept

Criminals generally aren't known for being all that intelligent. Following a bank robbery in Arlington, Texas, police caught the bank robber, but became suspicious that it was an inside job, after realizing that the first teller who the robber went to had stayed after his shift... and was apparently seen on video furiously text-messaging on his phone immediately prior to the robbery. So they checked his phone and discovered some rather self-incriminating text messages to the bank robber right before the robbery took place. According to the court documents, the teller and the bank robber had a rather revealing conversation:
"Don't forget yo sunglasses," court documents quoted Lightner as texting Franklin.

Franklin responded: "Alrite."

Surveillance photos show the robber was wearing sunglasses.

Later, they talk in code, the FBI said in a criminal complaint against the two.

"Mom just got home," Lightner texted.

Agents said he appeared to refer to an off-duty officer who had arrived to work at the bank.

"So turn around?" Franklin asked.

"No...hurry," the teller responded.

Lightner also appeared to give Franklin a refresher on the layout of the bank and where the drive-through area was located.

"Just in case u don't remember, just go in the front and walk straight... then u will see this hallway and my closet will be to the left," Lightner is quoted as texting.

In another message, the FBI said Lightner warned about a co-worker who "screams at scary movies, so be calm."
According to that same report, from the local NBC affiliate, police are now investigating an earlier bank robbery that involved the same teller at a different bank, and a suspect who matches the description of the guy who robbed this bank. Apparently, in that case the teller was "taken hostage and forced into a vault."

Whatever did scammers do in the age before SMS?

Either way, it does make you wonder if they didn't realize that it was possible to find this stuff on their phones, or if they just assumed they had the whole thing planned so well that they figured the police would never bother to check the text messages.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Sep 27th, 2010 @ 4:29am

    Heroic Failures

    Sounds like this belongs in the book of heroic failures - along witht he robber who left is dog at the scene.

    The police said "Home boy"....

    You can see some more in this vein on the web here.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 4:30am

    Obviously, it is the cell phone providers fault. This would have been prevented if they had been policing their network.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Sep 27th, 2010 @ 4:39am

    Some more stories - and another contender for worst bank robbery

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 5:02am

    Re:

    SMS must be outlawed!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 5:07am

    Re: Heroic Failures

    "Don't forget yo sunglasses," court documents quoted Lightner as texting Franklin.

    Sounds like "home boy" fits this one, too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Kyle Lightner, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 6:27am

    Robbery Details

    I knew the guy and was texting him about my mom. No, really. He was supposed to be headed to my house to get some stuff out of my closet. I told him not to forget his sunglasses because he told me he had gone in for an eye exam and had his eyes dilated.

    As for the girl that screams at horror movies, that was an inside joke. You wouldn't get it so I won't explain it to you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Whisk33, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 6:31am

    Re: Robbery Details

    I lol'd

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    Overcast (profile), Sep 27th, 2010 @ 7:33am

    Re:

    Obviously, it is the cell phone providers fault. This would have been prevented if they had been policing their network.

    Indeed, they should ban SMS now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Jesse, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 7:34am

    Cell phones cause bank robberies! Ban cell phones!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    The Groove Tiger (profile), Sep 27th, 2010 @ 7:41am

    SMS makes people rob banks, just like Craigslist invented prostitution and child porn. They must be banned now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Overcast (profile), Sep 27th, 2010 @ 8:15am

    Actually, maybe they should ban banks too. After all; if the banks wasn't there - these people wouldn't have been tempted to rob it!!

    Maybe someone needs to come up with a way to 'insta-copyright' SMS messages. This would mean that the reports and such reporting on the story could be sued for reporting what the SMS messages said.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Ryan Diederich, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 10:06am

    FOR THE CHILDREN!

    Someone call the CT congress (they are OH so good at these things). We need to ban cell phones and private communication right now, think of the children!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Sep 27th, 2010 @ 11:28am

    Re:

    Banks make people rob banks!!

    I have researched, and an bank is involved in 100% of bank robberies. We must outright ban banks to end the robberies. We must revert to using home vaults!

    signed,
    Derek J Kerton,
    Alliance for American S&M

    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    President - www.homevault.org - DJK at www.ho-vault.org
    Executive Director - www.safes.org - DJK at www.safeword.org
    Senior Fellow - www.lockedupinthebedroom.org
    President - Alliance for American Safety & Maintenance (S&M)
    Caretaker of Behind Closed Doors on behalf of deceased (auto-asphyxiated) founder Michael Hutchence
    Washington, DC

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    BearGriz72 (profile), Sep 27th, 2010 @ 8:54pm

    Re: Re:

    ROFLMAO! +10 Epic Hilarity.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This