Sunday, November 27, 2011

Overland Park man kidnapps friend and steals $62,200 from bank in Halloween Mask gets probation

Kind of a bizarre story here...

Overland Park man gets probation for staged kidnapping, bank robbery
The Kansas City Star

A federal judge in Kansas today sentenced the last of four buddies who staged an Overland Park kidnapping and bank robbery to time served and probation — the end to a heist hatched by youths who used to work at a movie theater.

U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia sentenced David Batson, 21, of Overland Park, to three years of probation and ordered him to continue to participate in mental health counseling for anxiety and other problems.

He was the wheel man in the Nov. 10, 2010 theft and previously pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting embezzlement by a bank employee. The three others also have pleaded guilty and were sentenced to probation and time served, which for all of them amounted to a few days in jail.

Batson told police that he agreed to do the driving and got a coded text message from his friend Michael Grace, the insider bank employee, setting the caper into action.

When it was over, Grace told police that he had been abducted at knifepoint by masked men and taken to the U.S. Bank at 10100 W. 119th St., where they beat him and forced him to use his bank key to open the ATM to steal cash. His colleagues at the bank discovered him with a bloody nose and bound by duct tape.

Brenden Connors admitted that he played the heavy for bank surveillance cameras, wearing a Halloween mask and leaving his friend with a bloody nose.

Batson delivered more than $62,200 in stolen money to Jacob McWhirt, who had it a short time before police cracked the case.

Among all four of them, they must also pay a total of $3,822 in restitution to Overland Park police and to the bank.

Batson told the judge he made a bad choice without considering how serious it was or the consequences.

“I kind of just acted on a whim,” he said. “It changed my life completely.”

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