OCEAN CITY — An Illinois man linked to the successful robbery of an Ocean City bank this summer and at least nine others across the country has turned himself in to the FBI in St. Louis.
On Wednesday, Andrew Maberry, 19, of O’Fallon, Ill., surrendered to the FBI office in St. Louis less than 24 hours after an extensive publicity campaign was launched seeking the public’s help in capturing the notorious “I-55 Bandit.” Maberry was arrested and charged with one count of bank robbery in connection with a July 2 robbery at the Commerce Bank in Arnold, Mo.
While he has been formally charged and arraigned with the single bank robbery count, Maberry has been linked to 10 successful robberies in five states from May to mid-August, including the robbery of the Susquehanna Bank on 94th Street in Ocean City on July 24. Around 10 a.m. on July 24, an unidentified suspect walked into the Susquehanna Bank on 94th Street and demanded money, received an undisclosed amount of cash and then casually walked back to his awaiting vehicle several blocks away.
After robbing the Ocean City bank, the suspect, now believed to be Maberry, casually walked south on West Biscayne Drive to his parked vehicle. The suspect then traveled through the Little Salisbury community to Pacific Ave., but was not seen again. The case remained under investigation and had not been solved until Maberry turned himself in to the FBI in St. Louis on Wednesday.
“The FBI believes the ‘I-55 Bandit’ may have robbed 10 banks, including the Susquehanna Bank in Ocean City on July 24,” FBI Public Affairs Specialist Rebecca Wu told The Dispatch on Thursday. “The FBI continues the investigation to determine if Mr. Maberry is linked to other bank robberies.”
Meanwhile, Ocean City police acknowledged this morning the possible link between Maberry and the July 24 bank robbery in Ocean City, but are uncertain about the nexus between the alleged crimes. OCPD Public Information Officer Mike Levy on Thursday said the FBI is handling the case and the subsequent investigation.
“The person they have in custody hasn’t officially been charged with the bank robbery here,” he said. “As with any bank robbery, the FBI is provided with all of the information. At this point, they’re saying it’s a possibility, but there isn’t any credible evidence linking him to our case.”
Since May 6, the “I-55 Bandit” is believed to have robbed 10 banks and attempted two other bank robberies in five states including Illinois, Missouri, Maryland, West Virginia and Tennessee. The “I-55 Bandit” moniker comes from the fact that all four banks robbed in the St. Louis region occurred along Interstate 55.
Surveillance images captured at the banks Maberry allegedly robbed during the summer-long spree appear to indicate the suspect was a busy man and criss-crossed the eastern half of the country. For example, the first surveillance image on May 6 allegedly shows Maberry at the Scott Credit Union in Edwardsville, Ill. On May 15, Maberry allegedly hit the U.S. Bank in Crystal City, Missouri before hitting the First State Community Bank in Cape Girardeau, Missouri on May 21.
Maberry made his first alleged appearance in Maryland on June 5 at the Hartford Bank in Bel Air, then allegedly hit the TD Bank in Essex on June 9. Maberry allegedly went back to Missouri to hit the Commerce Bank in Arnold, the only robbery for which he has been formally charged thus far, on July 2.
On July 19, Maberry allegedly hit the Wells Fargo Bank in Bel Air before heading to Ocean City to rob the Susquehanna Bank on July 24. From there, Maberry allegedly hit the Huntington National Bank in Hurricane, W.Va. on July 30 before a failed attempt at the First State Bank in Jackson, Tenn. on Aug. 12. Maberry allegedly pulled off a successful bank robbery at the Bank of Jackson in Tennessee on Aug. 14, before another attempt at the Clayton Bank in Jackson on the same day.
As the bank robberies continued throughout the summer, the FBI began to believe each case was linked to a single perpetrator. In each case, the suspect, presumably Maberry, used a demand note and did not show a weapon, but implied he was armed. No victims were harmed at any of the scenes of the crimes.
As the five-state spree continued, the FBI this week initiated an extensive media publicity campaign complete with captured surveillance images from each of the banks robbed, which resulted in a flood of solid tips. Perhaps sensing the noose was tightening, Maberry walked into the FBI regional office in St. Louis on Wednesday and turned himself in. He was charged via federal complaint and was arraigned in federal court on Wednesday on one count in connection with bank robbery in Arnold, Mo.
“We want to thank to news media and digital billboard companies for providing coverage on the 1-55 Band,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Dean C. Bryant. We have no doubt Maberry’s surrender was a direct result of the extensive media attention. We also appreciate the dozens of solid tips we were provided with by the public.”