Friday, May 21, 1999

Bank robbery family tradition

Latest attempt fails in Westwood

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        If it had all worked out, the Poor family would be rich.

        Had it not been for botched plans, Jamie Poor and his uncles would have avoided prison terms for bank robberies.

        Instead, the prison legacy is one they can't seem to escape.

        Uncle William Poor did time for robbing a Newport savings and loan in 1982 and escaping from jail after someone smuggled him a gun. He has since been released.

        Uncle James Poor served time for a 1989 Cincinnati bank holdup that was foiled when a bystander wrestled a sawed-off shotgun from him.

        Jamie Poor, who turns 35 next week, had been out of prison for five months on Thursday when, police say, he went back to his old ways.

        He had spent 11 years locked up after robbing a savings and loan in Hyde Park Plaza. He showed tellers a box containing a fuse and a clock and told them it was a bomb. He fled with $5,000 before he was caught.

        Cincinnati police say his plan didn't work any better Thursday. Investigators say he went into the Provident Bank on Crookshank Road in Westwood and gave the teller a note saying he was armed with explosives and would blow everyone up if he didn't get money.

        He left with the cash but was arrested about a block away in a Walgreen's, Cincinnati Police Sgt. Tony Carter said.

        Jamie Poor's sister, Tina Vandyne, said she warned her brother's probation and parole officers it was going to happen.

        Two weeks ago, “He told us he was going to go rob Provident Bank and that they wouldn't catch him this time,” said Ms. Vandyne, 28, who let her brother live with her in Price Hill upon his release. She wanted to give him a sec ond chance.

        Now, “I don't feel sorry for him at all.”

        Ms. Vandyne is a bit embarrassed by the robbery piece of the family's history.

        “It just keeps going down,” she said. “The older uncles had done it, and the younger cousins lived to tell about it. It just kept getting passed down.”

        She described her brother as a lazy person who didn't want to work.

        “When he was little, he began stealing from stores,” she said. “Then he learned that my uncles had gotten away with robbing banks. I think it takes someone who's got nothing to lose and someone who loves the taste of money.”

        Jamie Poor is being held at the Hamilton County Justice Center, the same place that has his felony registration on file detailing his convictions of aggravated robbery, burglary, theft and forgery.

        A judge is expected to set his bond today on a new aggravated robbery charge at a hearing in municipal court.


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