It looks like federal authorities have found their man believed to have committed bank robberies in five states including the one this summer in Pauls Valley.
Arrested without incident late last week in an apartment complex in San Antonio, Texas was a man identified as Douglas Edward Ford, 46.
Dubbed the “Bayou Bandit,” Ford is alleged to have been responsible for as many as 11 bank robberies since March in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Oklahoma, including the one in PV nearly two months ago.
“The FBI’s telling us this is the guy,” PV Police Chief Mitch McGill said on Tuesday.
Both McGill and lead local officer on the case, Lt. Detective Derrick Jolley, were informed of the Sept. 3 arrest by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which are working the local case in conjunction with PV police.
The case here involved a lone male suspect walking into the First United Bank branch in the 2000 block of West Grant in the early afternoon hours of July 17.
Bank tellers later said the subject in his late 30s or early 40s handed them a note and demanded money. No one reported seeing a weapon as the subject, after spending slightly more than a minute in the bank, left with an undisclosed amount of cash. He left the scene in a vehicle parked nearby.
Moments after the robbery occurred officers from the local police department and various other law enforcement agencies converged at the site, where they began to question possible witness and look for security video that might have captured images of the suspect.
Still photos from video discovered after this robbery did play a part in the search to find the man authorities now believe is responsible for committing the crime.
“Photos and videos from outside sources helped to ID him,” Jolley said.
McGill added photos from here and other robberies were actually used on special digital billboards along interstate highways in the states where the thefts occurred to alert motorists of the suspect and hopefully get some information on his whereabouts.
It appears a tip as a result of these billboards did provide the key to finding the suspect, he said.
“The digital billboards along interstates in these other states led to his capture,” McGill said.
Although many details are expected to come later, Jolley said he was informed Ford did have a previous robbery conviction.
“He was convicted of bank robberies before. In fact, he was still being supervised while on probation for his previous robberies,” he said.
Those details coming later are sure to include the specific type of criminal charges to be filed against Ford.
“It’s likely us or the FBI will be asking for charges on the robbery here in Pauls Valley,” Jolley said.