Suspect in Quincy bank robbery arrested in Florida - Quincy Herald-Whig | Illinois & Missouri News, Sports

Man suspected in Quincy bank holdup arrested in Florida

Posted: Updated:
Willie B. Franklin Willie B. Franklin

By DAVID ADAM
Herald-Whig Staff Writer

A man suspected of robbing the First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust on Dec. 26 in Quincy, along with several other banks in the Midwest, has been arrested in Tampa, Fla.

Willie Franklin, 37, of Urbana, was taken into custody by federal authorities earlier this week. Police said he is a suspect in 14 bank robberies that took place in Kankakee, Mount Vernon, Manteno, Morton and Peoria in Illinois; Iowa City, Iowa; Wentzville, Mo.; and in Indiana. Franklin is awaiting other charges.

Adams County State's Attorney Jon Barnard says Franklin likely will face federal charges in conjunction with the robberies. Bond has been set on the Adams County warrant at $500,000.

Barnard said he is not permitted to discuss specific evidence in a pending case, but he said in a press release that "it is clear that the prompt and thorough action of the Quincy Police Department, including the patrol division and investigative division, developed critical clues that, in cooperation with other agencies, tied Franklin to the multiple bank robberies."

Barnard said officers from the department were deployed throughout the immediate area of the robbery in what is termed a "neighborhood canvass." Clues were developed and were given to state and federal authorities, as well as surveillance video from the robbery.

Lt. Dina Dreyer of the Quincy Police Department said Detective Travis Wiemelt and Detective Gabe Vanderbol were instrumental in helping determine that Franklin was a suspect in other cases.

"There are a couple of law enforcement database resources we use, and Travis started noticing that some of the circumstances were similar," Dreyer said. "The type of note that (Franklin) used and the (physical) description were the same. Travis started contacting those banks and getting their (surveillance) videos, and he realized they were all looking for the same guy."

"I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that were it not for the investigation performed by the Quincy Police Department, Franklin would still be at-large, and there almost certainly would have been more victims," Barnard said in the press release.

According to the Champaign News-Gazette, Urbana police Sgt. Adam Chacon spotted a car that had been linked to a Dec. 20 bank robbery in Manteno. The man who got in the yellow 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier was identified as Franklin, who was arrested on traffic-related charges on Jan. 2, posted bond and was released.

Urbana police Sgt. Dan Morgan said Franklin was questioned about the robberies while he was in custody. His name was relayed to other police agencies, but it wasn't until Jan. 3 — after Franklin had already been released from the Urbana jail — that Urbana police received a response that Franklin appeared to be the man in at least one bank's surveillance video and that a teller had picked him from a photo lineup.

"(Jan. 3) is the day when it really came together and we knew who we were looking for," Quincy Police Chief Rob Copley said. "I'm very happy this came together the way it did, and it was the result of a lot of hard work and cooperation between agencies."

The News-Gazette said that Champaign County court records show Franklin's most serious convictions there were both for possession of a stolen vehicle from 1995 and 1999. Franklin also has prior federal convictions for which he served prison time.

— dadam@whig.com/221-3376

  • Local HeadlinesLocal HeadlinesMore>>

  • Rauner blasts Quinn, urges early voting at Quincy campaign stop

    Rauner blasts Quinn, urges early voting at Quincy campaign stop

    Thursday, October 23 2014 11:04 AM EDT2014-10-23 15:04:16 GMT
    Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner called Illinois “the worst-run state in America” during a stop Thursday morning in Quincy as part of a multi-day tour to encourage early voting. Rauner and running mate Evelyn Sanguinetti toured Quincy Metal Fabricators with CEO Dan Nuessen. Rauner had appearances in Mount Carmel, Decatur, Bloomington and Champaign scheduled for later in the day.
    Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner called Illinois “the worst-run state in America” during a stop Thursday morning in Quincy as part of a multi-day tour to encourage early voting. Rauner and running mate Evelyn Sanguinetti toured Quincy Metal Fabricators with CEO Dan Nuessen. Rauner had appearances in Mount Carmel, Decatur, Bloomington and Champaign scheduled for later in the day.
  • Traffic accidents increase in Quincy during September

    Traffic accidents increase in Quincy during September

    Saturday, October 25 2014 1:56 AM EDT2014-10-25 05:56:24 GMT
    The number of accidents on Quincy's streets rose 11.3 percent in September. Statistics from the Quincy Police Department show that 108 accidents happened during the month, an increase of 11 accidents from the August...
    The number of accidents on Quincy's streets rose 11.3 percent in September. Statistics from the Quincy Police Department show that 108 accidents happened during the month, an increase of 11 accidents from the August...
  • Monroe City sewer work will force detours along U.S. 24

    Monroe City sewer work will force detours along U.S. 24

    Saturday, October 25 2014 1:54 AM EDT2014-10-25 05:54:56 GMT
    MONROE CITY, Mo. -- Traffic along U.S. 24 in Monroe City will be detoured to nearby streets for a two-week period starting next week. Work on city sewer lines is scheduled to start Tuesday and continue through Nov. 11....
    MONROE CITY, Mo. -- Traffic along U.S. 24 in Monroe City will be detoured to nearby streets for a two-week period starting next week. Work on city sewer lines is scheduled to start Tuesday and continue through Nov. 11....
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Quincy Herald-Whig. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.