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.
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Filed Under: bank robbery, texting


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