Attempted Bank Heist By Bomb Threat

More

bomberrobber.JPG

 

My peaceful and productive morning of writing in a Joplin, Missouri Starbuck's was interrupted by an outside swarm of police, SWAT, and FBI. A little before noon local time, a man desperate for cash had walked into a US Bank across the street and announced that if the tellers didn't give him money, he would detonate a bomb he had placed on the roof.

The area is still in lockdown as police conduct a sweep for explosives, but the man has been taken into custody. Corporal Niesse from the Joplin police department told me the bank employees and customers had escaped from the bank almost immediately, but the man remained inside. Niesse said Joplin had a similar incident a few years ago, and in that case an explosive device the would-be bank robber brandished turned out to be a fake.

Police have been looking for over an hour now and have yet to find a bomb, so it appears the man never posed a real threat to public safety. I don't know his name, or his motivation for trying to knock over a bank, but you can see from my picture of him being taken into custody that he doesn't look like a hardened criminal. And the clumsiness of the attempt makes me think he is either crazy, stupid, or suicidal.

I'm trying to find out more about the would-be bank robber/bomber and will post an update if I learn his desperation sprung from being laid off or other financial hardship caused by the recession.

Update: The man in custody is 71-year-old Billy L. Appier from Cherokee, Kansas. The Joplin police report that he entered the bank wearing a straw hat and sunglasses. 

Appier.jpg

Jump to comments
Presented by

Christina Davidson is a writer, photographer, and book editor who specializes in national security, terrorism, and war. She also writes for the food blog Feed The Masses. More

Christina Davidson is a writer, photographer and book editor based in Washington, D.C. She specializes in editing books about national security, terrorism, and war, but writes for a broad array of publications, including the popular frugalicious foodie blog Feed The Masses. She is working on a book based on her Recession Road Trip project for TheAtlantic.com.
Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

This Short Film Skewers Hollywood, Probably Predicts Disney's Next Hit

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

How Will Climate Change Affect Cities?

Urban planners and environmentalists predict the future of city life.

Video

The Inner Life of a Drag Queen

A short documentary about cross-dressing, masculinity, identity, and performance

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in National

Just In