Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Officer recognized for catching bank robbers

Officer Kevin Growney has a knack for catching bank robbers, which is why I gave him a Certificate of Commendation last week.

The most recent incident took place on March 28, 2009, when a man walked into a bank in Brookside and handed over a business card with a written demand for all of the $100-, $50- and $20-dollar bills the teller had. He took off with $1,780. The teller reported the suspect’s appearance and what he was wearing, including a black raincoat.

Officer Kevin Growney was nearby when the call went out and immediately began canvassing the area for the suspect. A resident told Officer Growney that a man had been running through backyards near 65th and Wyandotte. He went to that area and observed a man walking down the street who was suspiciously dry, despite the heavy rain. When Officer Growney approached the man, he was very nervous and acted as though he had just physically exerted himself. Although he wasn’t wearing a raincoat, the rest of the description matched, and Officer Growney took him into custody on a traffic warrant. When officer Growney searched the suspect, he found $1,780 in his pants pocket. A subsequent canvass of the area found the man’s rain jacket and hat as well as a box cutter ditched behind a house in the 6400 block of Wyandotte. The suspect is now in federal prison awaiting trial.

But that wasn’t the first time Officer Growney tracked down a bank robbery suspect right after the robbery took place. Just 10 months earlier, on May 28, 2008, the Kansas City Fire Department Credit Union at 6320 Manchester was robbed. Callers reported the two armed suspects fled to a nearby apartment complex. Once again, Officer Growney was nearby and immediately started canvassing for suspects. He went to the apartments and saw two men acting suspiciously outside of a storage area. They resembled the physical description of the bank robbers, including black gloves. He took them into custody, and when the FBI arrived on scene, they found the bank’s bait money in the two men’s possession. Both were charged with federal bank robbery, and they also had outstanding felony and city warrants.

Captain Scott Caron said this kind of performance is normal for Officer Growney. He said, “He has the uncanny knack for placing himself in the right place to be near the action.”

Deputy Chief Cy Ritter said Officer Growney has been a consistent performer at the Metro Patrol Division for several years.

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