Thursday, November 30, 2000

Man arrested in twice-robbed bank case

Independence steps up patrols

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Covington police apprehended a 41-year-old Park Hills man accused of robbing the same bank twice while Independence has scheduled extra patrols in and around its five banks.

        Larry Nelson Furnish of 1208 Far Hills Drive was arraigned in Kenton County court on Wednesday. He is accused of robbing the Bank of Kentucky at 19th Street and Madison Avenue on Nov. 10 and again on Nov. 21, according to court records.

        The bank's video cameras taped the robberies, but the FBI declined to say what evidence led to the arrest. In both robberies, a man handed a teller a note but displayed no weapon. The man asked for $5,000 in the first robbery and an unspecified amount in the second.

        Police arrested Mr. Furnish Tuesday evening after he gave a written confession to the two rob beries while being questioned by Covington police and the FBI, authorities said.

        Mr. Furnish was being held at the Kenton County jail on $50,000 bond before being released into the custody of federal marshals Wednesday afternoon.

        Mr. Furnish's rap sheet is three pages long, including previous convictions for drug trafficking, drunken driving and assault.

        He was the second bank robbery suspect arrested in Northern Kentucky in the last three months. The region has had about 10 bank robberies in the last six months.

        Agent Doug Warner, a bank robbery specialist for the FBI, said there seems to have been more bank robberies in Northern Kentucky during the last six months than all of last year. Exact figures were not available from the bureau's Louisville office.

        “Compared to Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky has not been hit extremely hard,” said Agent Warner. The city of Cincinnati has had more than 20 bank robberies this year alone.

        The FBI's Northern Kentucky office solves about 90 percent of the bank robberies it investigates, so agents were not surprised police found the man who hit the same bank twice within a two-week period.

        With the recent rise in bank robberies, Independence police are taking steps to discourage robberies during the holiday season. Independence Police Sgt. Anthony Lucas believes there has not been a bank hold-up in the city for at least a decade, and he hopes to keep it that way.

        Officers are aggressively patrolling around the city's five banks. It's part of Operation Bank Safety, a campaign that runs through January.

        Sgt. Lucas said the department increases patrols this time of year because of the large amounts of cash that flow through banks during the holiday season.


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