Final suspect arrested in Footville bank robbery

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Mike DuPre'
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
— The scene early Friday afternoon at Mid America Bank in Footville could have been ripped from a Hollywood heist movie.

Four robbers—three wearing Halloween ghoul masks and one with his face covered by a cloth—ordered the tellers and customers to lie on the floor, according to federal court documents.

They brandished a sawed-off shotgun and two pistols, although just one of the handguns was loaded.

One robber jumped onto the teller counter.

One watched the door.

Two grabbed cash.

One of the thieves kept track of time, yelling, “Time!” and “Let’s go!”

One kicked a teller in the head because she was slow to open a cash drawer, according to court documents.

They fled with $4,900 cash.

Police say the sixth and final suspect in the robbery was arrested about 2:45 p.m. Tuesday in Rockford.

Matthew Evans, 26, was taken into custody without incident at a girlfriend’s home on Acorn Street by Rock County sheriff’s detectives who went there to interview the woman, Sheriff Bob Spoden reported.

Rockford police were there as well.

Investigators think Evans—thought to be a Rockford-area resident—is the man who escaped Friday from the chase and manhunt that ensued after the bank was robbed.

The other five suspects made their first appearance in federal court Tuesday in what federal authorities are charging as a bank robbery conspiracy.

Rock County authorities are preparing state charges related to the chase and will wait to see what the U.S. Attorney’s Office eventually charges before deciding whether to file state robbery charges, Spoden said.

The defendants in federal court were:

-- Skye E. Archambault, 20, of 205 S. Wright St., Orfordville

-- Lisa Ramos, 30, Rockford

-- Troy N. Thomas, 35, Rockford

-- Donald L. Thompson, 21, Rockford

-- Curtis Seaberry, 20, Rockford

They are due back in federal court Friday for an arraignment and detention hearing. Whether Evans will be in court then as well is undetermined.

All the defendants who were in court Tuesday admitted their roles in the robbery, according to an affidavit filed to support the federal criminal complaint.

Archambault and Ramos both are girlfriends of Thomas, and three of them were staying together in a Rockford motel.

Archambault, the Orfordville resident, suggested robbing Mid America Bank after Thomas suggested robbing a bank to solve their money problems, according to Ramos’ statements reported in the affidavit.

Ramos was supposed to get an equal cut of the loot for buying the masks, and Archambault drove the second of two getaway cars, the affidavit says.

Thompson told investigators that after they drove by the bank, he told the others he did not want to rob the bank. But he said Seaberry pulled one of the pistols—a loaded .22-caliber—and told him he would do it anyway, according to the affidavit.

Seaberry told a different story. He said he and Evans were the ones who had second thoughts and that Thomas threatened to hurt them if they didn’t follow through on the plan, according to court documents.

Thomas carried the sawed-off shotgun, Seaberry the .22 and Thompson an unloaded .40-caliber pistol into the bank, according to the affidavit.

The men drove to the bank in a Lexus reported stolen earlier in the day in Beloit. Shortly after the heist, the four robbers ditched the stolen Lexus and climbed into Thomas’ car driven by Archambault, according to the affidavit.

While fleeing, they stopped in a driveway on Highway 81 west of Beloit, where they were encountered by Rock County deputy Karl Weberg. He ordered them to surrender at gunpoint, but Seaberry and Evans ran, and the others sped away in the car.

Weberg could not legally shoot the suspects because there was no imminent threat of death or serious injury and no weapons were displayed, Spoden explained earlier.

Seaberry was arrested shortly afterward, but Evans escaped and eluded investigators until his arrest Tuesday in Rockford.

Weberg chased the three in the car into Illinois at speeds that reached 100 mph.

The chase ended when their car ran out of gas, Thomas and Thompson told investigators.

Last updated: 10:55 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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