A man and his wife face burglary and theft charges after they tried to break into a bank safe, a crime lawmen say was caught by surveillance cameras.
The suspects, Larry Mitchell Barnes and his wife, Donna Denean Barnes, are charged with burglary, attempt to commit theft over $60,000, attempt to commit theft, theft, and possession of a deadly weapon. They have been given Sept. 22 trial dates and are both free under $25,000 bonds.
Their charges come after investigators say they tried to break into the vault at Security Federal Savings Bank located on Highway 55 near Morrison. According to sheriff’s investigator Kevin Murphy, the two were working as after-hours janitors at the branch and were therefore left alone in the bank, unsupervised except for surveillance cameras inside the building.
Suspicion first was cast on the two when there were some minor thefts inside the building such as candy bars being sold for Relay for Life. That’s when investigators started looking into what was transpiring after hours. It was then they found the burglary attempt.
“They found a key to a room they knew they weren’t supposed to be in and they were trying to open the vault door,” said Murphy, noting video cameras caught the repeated attempts to open the vault. “They weren’t able to get into the vault.”
Along with the attempted vault break-in, Mr. Barnes was hit with firearms charges after he was seen on tape with a handgun strapped to his hip. Carrying a weapon into a financial institution is a crime in itself regardless of intent.
On the video, investigators saw Barnes with the gun on his hip walking along the teller line as if he was committing a robbery. Investigators are unsure if he was practicing or just playing around, not realizing the cameras were recording his every move.
“This whole thing just wasn’t very well thought out,” Murphy noted, pointing out there were times when the lights were turned out yet the cameras were still able to capture movement in the darkness.