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Erik Burgess, Published December 21 2012

Alleged bank robber to teller: ‘Merry Christmas’

FARGO – Police say a 54-year-old suspect in a south Fargo bank robbery Monday showed the teller he had a weapon, stuffed nearly $9,000 into his black stocking cap and, as he was fleeing the scene, wished her a Merry Christmas.

That’s according to charges filed in Cass County District Court on Friday.

Timothy Patrick McKenna has been charged with robbery, a Class B felony, in the stickup at Gate City Bank at 1501 S. University Drive. He was arrested on Wednesday and made his first court appearance Friday. He is being held in Cass County jail on $100,000 cash or bond bail.

The police report says McKenna entered the bank around 4 p.m. Monday and told the teller, “This is a bank robbery, give me all the money in your drawer.”

According to the report, the teller didn’t believe him at first, but then he added “I don’t want any of that funny money, I want the money from the bottom drawer.” He then showed the employee the handle of a pistol he had tucked in a stocking cap, the report filed with charges states.

Court documents say she told police her drawer was $8,808.21 short that day.

In a news conference following McKenna’s arrest, Police Chief Keith Ternes credited quality surveillance footage and an outpouring of more than 40 tips from the public in the quick arrest.

According to the police report, one such tip came from an employee of Bubba and Co., a dog boarding and grooming business near the bank, who said McKenna paid for another man’s dog to be released from boarding, using “crisp $100 and $20 bills” to pay the $1,050 bill.

The employee said she recognized McKenna as the man from the surveillance photos on the news, the report says.

Police were able to identify the other man and obtain a cellphone number for him from records at the dog boarder. Using GPS, they tracked the location of the cellphone to 16th Street North and First Avenue in Fargo, where McKenna was eventually arrested.

Police recovered $7,150 from the home where McKenna was found, and another $320 was found in his pocket still with the paperclips used at the bank to bundle the money, the report states. Police also found a black stocking cap and camouflage jacket that matched the jacket in surveillance footage.

McKenna’s next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 17.

Ternes said the local FBI office was part of the investigation and separate federal charges could also be levied against McKenna.


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Readers can reach Forum reporter Erik Burgess at (701) 241-5518