Columbia teen charged in series of armed bank robberies

Saturday, July 11, 2009 | 7:00 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Two Missouri men, including a Columbia teen, were charged Friday for participating in a conspiracy that involved three armed bank robberies and ended in a shootout with law enforcement officers, according to a news release from United States Attorney Matt J. Whitworth.  

The affidavits filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City said the men, William Alan Wolfe, 28, of Fulton and Michael A. Leak, 18, of Columbia, were involved in a series of bank robberies across the state in early July.

Most recently, the men were involved in a July 8 robbery at the F & C Bank in Holden, the release stated. During the incident, Wolfe entered the bank and pointed a gun at a customer who was leaving the bank and ordered him to the floor. Wolfe then ordered the teller to give him all the money in the drawers. Wolfe left the bank with $12,060 and got into a Buick LeSabre driven by Leak, the release stated.

After leaving the bank, Wolfe and Leak were spotted by a Johnson County sheriff. They attempted to evade the officer and opened fire, disabling his car. Officers later found the car driven by Leak engulfed in flames in Chilhowee. The news release also stated that police believe Wolfe and Leak then stole a flatbed truck that was later found partially submerged in the Missouri River near Boonville.

Officers located Leak on Thursday night in his room at the Super 7 Motel on Range Line Street, the release stated. Wolfe was arrested early Friday.

The men are also charged with robbing two banks in Winigan and Clarence on July 2 and July 7, respectively. The amount taken from the three banks totaled $42,321, the release stated.

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