MONROE, Mich. – Officials broke down, in detail, how they say one man used napkin notes, one-minute in-and-outs, and a getaway driver to pull off 15 different bank robberies across five states, including at six branches in Michigan.
DeAndre Thorington, 32, of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, and Jeremy Martin, 30, of Bedford, Ohio, are linked to robberies at 15 banks between Feb. 11 and June 6.
Thorington is accused of physically robbing the banks, and Martin is accused of acting as his getaway driver.
Both men were named in a criminal complaint filed this month that accuses them of taking or trying to take by extortion any property, money, or valuables; conspiracy to commit offense or defraud the United States; and aiding and abetting.
Here’s a description of all 15 bank robberies from the complaint:
Feb. 11: 1st Source Bank in Elkhart, Indiana
Officers from the Elkhart Police Department were called at 12:53 p.m. Feb. 11 to the 1st Source Bank on East Bristol Street in Elkhart, Indiana.
When police arrived, the bank teller who was targeted during the robbery said she had seen a man enter the lobby wearing white latex gloves.
He took his hands out of his coat pockets, approached the window, and passed her a note, court records show.
“Give me all your money,” the note said, according to the complaint. “I’m armed.”
The teller said she opened her drawer and gave the man between $9,300 and $9,400.
Officials said the man told her, “No dye pack, no GPS.” He then told her to provide him with large bills, according to authorities.
He rejected the $20 packs of money that contained the GPS and dye packs, officials said. He took the remaining money and left on foot, police said.
March 10: Flagstar Bank in South Bend, Indiana
The South Bend Police Department received a call at 12:33 p.m. March 10 about a robbery at the Flagstar Bank at 4400 South Miami Street in South Bend, Indiana.
A teller told officers that a man had walked in and asked to make a withdrawal. He slipped a brown paper napkin under the glass that said, “I am armed, empty all your drawers,” according to authorities.
The note also mentioned dye packs, officials said.
The teller opened the drawer, and the man told her to hurry up and provide big bills, the criminal complaint says. She gave him about $1,110 before he left the bank, court records show.
A detective reviewed surveillance footage from the scene and saw the man had entered the bank at 12:29 p.m. He left the bank at 12:30 p.m., according to police.
March 11: Huntington Bank in Albion, Michigan
Albion Department of Public Safety officers were called at 12:26 p.m. March 11 to the Huntington National Bank at 1301 North Eaton Street in Albion, Michigan.
Officers said a man in a surgical mask and latex gloves had walked up to a teller and quietly told her to give him all she had. He told her that he had a gun, police said.
She gave the man cash, and he demanded more hundreds, court records show. The teller started to throw money on the counter, authorities said.
The man picked up some of the bills he had dropped on the floor while trying to put the cash in his pocket, the criminal complaint says. He then left the bank, according to police.
The Huntington National bank manager reported that the man got away with about $2,873.
Surveillance video showed the man had walked into the bank at 12:20 p.m. and was out the door by 12:21 p.m.
March 24: Flagstar Bank in Okemos, Michigan
The Meridian Township Police Department received a call at 12:07 p.m. March 24 about a robbery at the Flagstar Bank at 1801 West Grand River Avenue in Okemos, Michigan.
Officers said they interviewed three tellers who were victimized during the robbery.
The first teller said two men had entered the bank and asked for help. She was busy with another customer, so she didn’t make contact with them, police said.
A second teller told one of the men she could help him, so he walked to her desk and sat down, according to authorities. His hands were inside the pocket of his hooded sweatshirt, officials said. He pulled out a note written on a small white napkin and said, “Don’t push the button,” the criminal complaint says.
The teller read the note, which said, “I’m armed,” according to court records. She said she couldn’t remember what exactly was written on the note, but she believed it was something like, “I am armed, give me money” or “I am armed, this is a robbery,” police said.
She said she pushed the alarm button, opened her drawer and gave the man all the money inside, which was about $1,227, according to authorities.
The man asked, “Is that it?” before shoving the bills in his pocket and leaving the bank, court records say.
A third teller told police that she had greeted the two men when they entered the bank. They told her they wanted to make a withdrawal, and one of the men (the one who had not spoken to the second teller) sat down at her desk, according to officials.
The man told the third teller that he wanted to withdraw $100, and she asked for identification, authorities said. He passed her a note on a napkin that said something like, “I’m armed, give me the money,” the criminal complaint says.
She opened her drawer and gave the man about $1,300, police said. He told her he knew there was more money and motioned to the other desks next to her, authorities said. She explained that there were only three tellers and no one else was working at those stations, according to police.
The man then approached the first teller’s desk and passed her a note written on a napkin, officials said. She didn’t read the note, and the man told her to open the cash drawer because he didn’t want to touch it, the criminal complaint says.
He grabbed all the money -- about $1,843 -- and put it in his pocket, officials said. He then exited the bank behind the other man, who had finished robbing the second teller at this point, according to court records.
Surveillance footage shows the two men entered the bank at 12:05 p.m. and left at 12:07 p.m. They were both wearing clear plastic gloves, police said.
April 5: First Merchants Bank in Flat Rock, Michigan
Officers from Flat Rock said they were called at 1:24 p.m. April 5 to the First Merchants Bank at 28417 Telegraph Road.
When they arrived, they said a teller told them a man had approached her counter and handed over a note.
The note said, “Empty the register,” authorities said. He took the note back from the teller as she emptied about $753 and handed it over, police said.
He told her he wanted more $100 bills, and she said she didn’t have any more money in the drawer, the criminal complaint says. He then walked out, officials said.
Surveillance footage shows the man entered the bank at 1:21 p.m. and left at 1:22 p.m.
April 8: M&T Bank in Blasdell, New York
Officers from the Blasdell Police Department were called at 12:33 p.m. April 8 to the M&T Bank at 23 Lake Avenue in Blasdell, New York.
They said when they arrived, all the doors were locked, so the patrol unit called dispatch about the assigned call for the bank alarm.
After confirming that the bank had been robbed, police learned a man had fled out the back door, they said. A GPS tracking device in the bank’s money had been given to the robber, and it tracked him to a location on Route 62, according to authorities.
He was on the bridge heading toward Lackawanna, police said. A short time later, officers recovered the tracking device and bait money under the bridge. They said it appeared to have been thrown by the man.
Police interviewed a teller who said a man had approached her station and asked to make a withdrawal. He handed her a brown napkin with a note that said, “I have a gun, I will shoot you,” from what she could recall, the criminal complaint says.
He was wearing plastic gloves, she said.
The teller gave him bait money that included a GPS tracker, as well as the rest of the cash in her drawer -- about $500, authorities said.
The man took the note and the money before leaving out the back door, court records show.
Still images show the man entered the bank at 12:26 p.m. and left at 12:32 p.m.
April 8: Community Bank in Westfield, New York
Just hours after the M&T Bank robbery, at 3:01 p.m. April 8, police were called to the Community Bank N.A. at 70 East Main Street in Westfield, New York. The Community Bank is about a 55-mile drive southwest along Lake Erie from the M&T Bank.
The teller told police that a man had walked in the front door and greeted her. He told her he needed to make a withdrawal, so she asked if it would be from a checking or savings account, authorities said.
The man said it would be from a savings account, so she turned away from him to grab a withdrawal slip, the criminal complaint says.
When she turned back around, the man had placed a note on the counter, she said. It was written on a light brown napkin and said, “Give me the money, no dye packs, I have a gun,” court records show.
The teller gave him the money from her drawer, police said. He put the money in his pocket and left the bank, according to authorities.
A security investigator from the bank said the man got away with $2,104.
April 28: Widget Financial in North East, Pennsylvania
Officials said the Widget Financial at 5 Grant Street in North East, Pennsylvania, was targeted at 11:27 a.m. April 28.
A teller told authorities that a man had placed a note on the counter that said something like, “I am armed, give me everything in the register.”
The teller gave the man about $2,249, according to the criminal complaint. He took the note and the money before leaving on foot, police said.
May 3: Community Bank in North Collins, New York
Deputies with the Erie County Sheriff’s Office were called at 11:19 p.m. May 3 to the Community Bank at 10490 Main Street in North Collins, New York.
Authorities said a teller was working at the station closest to the entrance when a man entered and pulled a note from his pocket that demanded money.
The teller gave him about $4,372 before he fled on foot, court records show.
Surveillance video shows the man walked into the bank at 11:15 a.m. and left at 11:16 a.m.
Cameras in the surrounding area showed the man getting into a silver Nissan sedan with tinted windows and no front plate, according to authorities. It was driven by another person, who was not identified.
Surveillance video from a neighboring school showed the Nissan arriving at 11:06 a.m. and dropping off the robber. The driver parked and waited until the man returned from the bank, officials said.
May 6: KeyBank in North East, Pennsylvania
Police were called at 1:26 p.m. May 6 to a robbery at the KeyBank at 27 East Main Street in North East, Pennsylvania.
This KeyBank location is just one-fifth of a mile away from the Widget Financial that was targeted in North East eight days prior.
Officials said a man walked into the bank and placed a note on the counter. The note said something like, “Empty your drawer. I’m armed. No dye packs,” according to authorities.
The teller gave the man some cash, and the man replied, “Where’s the 100s at?” the criminal complaint says. The teller told him he didn’t have any, and the man replied, “Yeah you do. Don’t make me pull this out,” police said.
The teller then retrieved a stack of $100 bills and gave them to the man, according to court records.
Officials said the man got away with about $3,692.
Surveillance video shows the man had a tattoo on the left side of his neck that said, “Blessed” underneath a symbol.
May 12: PNC Bank in Monroe, Michigan
Officers from the Monroe Police Department were called at 12:53 p.m. May 12 to the PNC Bank at 202 North Monroe Street, they said.
A bank teller told police that a man had approached her station while she was helping another customer. After she finished with the other customer, she asked the man how she could help him, authorities said.
The man held a note that said, “I am armed” up to the plexiglass barrier and said, “Give me everything,” officials said.
The teller gave the man all the money in the drawer, which was about $3,000, the criminal complaint says. He put the money in his jacket pocket and left on foot, according to police.
Surveillance footage showed the man entering the bank at 12:21 p.m. and leaving at 12:23 p.m.
May 18: First Merchants Bank in Monroe, Michigan
Deputies with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office were called at 2:41 p.m. May 18 to the First Merchants Bank at 14581 South Dixie Highway in Monroe.
A man walked in and showed the teller a note that said, “I am armed. No dye pack. Make it fast,” according to authorities.
He verbally asked the teller to give him everything and reiterated, “No dye packs,” the criminal complaint says.
The teller described the note as a piece of torn white notebook paper with lines.
The teller gave the man everything in her top drawer, and he fled on foot, police said.
An eyewitness reported seeing a man matching the bank robber’s description getting into a Nissan driven by another person a few blocks away, according to officials.
May 24: PNC Bank in Monroe, Michigan
Six days later, Monroe police officers were called at 12:41 p.m. to the PNC Bank at 465 North Telegraph Road, they said.
When they arrived, detectives spoke to a teller who said a man had pulled out a note that was written on a napkin.
The note said, “All money in register top drawer, no dye,” according to authorities.
After an official count was performed by employees, they determined the man stole about $734, police said.
Surveillance footage showed a silver sedan leaving the scene, court records show.
May 26: Farmers & Merchants Bank in Auburn, Indiana
Indiana State Police troopers were called at 10:08 a.m. May 26 to the Farmers and Merchants Bank at 403 Erie Pass in Auburn.
A teller told troopers that a man had entered the bank and pulled out a small piece of paper that read, “Empty the drawers, give me all your money, I am armed,” the criminal complaint says.
He asked the teller for $100 bills, police said. He got away with about $3,319, they said.
Members of the Auburn Police Department and the Dekalb County Sheriff’s Department, as well as state troopers, canvassed the area in an attempt to track the bank robber.
Video footage from the Parkview Dekalb Hospital showed the man getting into a silver sedan, court records show.
June 6: Premier Bank in St. Clairsville, Ohio
The final robbery was reported at 1:21 p.m. June 6 at the Premier Bank at 107 Plaza Drive in St. Clairsville, Ohio, according to authorities.
The teller said a man entered the bank and displayed a note saying that he had a gun and directing the teller to empty the drawer, officials said.
Police said the teller gave him between $7,000 and $8,000.
The man fled the bank, went across the street and got into a silver vehicle with damage on the right side, court records show.
Thorington, Martin arrested
Officers in the area issued a “be on the lookout” alert for the silver vehicle after the June 6 robbery, and Belmont County Sheriff’s Office deputies saw it on the highway, they said.
The driver refused to stop when deputies tried to pull it over, and a pursuit began, police said. The chase reached speeds of 100-110 mph, according to authorities.
Both occupants of the vehicle were eventually taken into custody, police said. They were identified as Thorington and Martin, the criminal complaint says.
Linking Thorington to all 15 bank robberies
Officials reviewed police reports, surveillance videos, and descriptions from all of these bank robberies and found them to be consistent with each other, they said.
In each instance, the bank robber was described as being between 20-30 years old and between 5 feet, 10 inches and 6 feet, 3 inches tall, according to authorities.
Court records show similar clothing was worn by the robber in many of these incidents.
- In four robberies, the person wore a black jacket, tan pants, tan Timberland-style boots, and a black winter hat.
- This clothing was worn during the robberies in Elkhart, South Bend, Albion, and Okemos between Feb. 11 and March 24, police said.
- In three robberies, the person wore a white Nike baseball hat and a black coat.
- This clothing was worn during the robberies in Flat Rock, Blasdell, and Westfield between April 5 and April 8, police said.
- A black North Face puffy coat was used in five of the robberies -- at Huntington National Bank, M&T Bank, Community National Bank, and both Flagstar Bank branches.
- In three robberies, the person wore a black Nike three-quarter-zip track jacket with a white zipper.
- The jacket was worn during the North East, North Collins, and Monroe robberies from May 3 to May 12, police said.
- In the Monroe and Auburn robberies between May 18 and May 26, the person wore a black ball cap and a bright red track jacket with a white zipper and a white logo on the upper left corner, police said.
Bank robbery trends
Police said the robberies generally took place between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. In most instances, the robber was inside for about one minute.
In 14 of the 15 bank robberies, notes were used -- at least four times on brown napkins, the criminal complaint says.
The content of the notes was generally consistent: Directing tellers to empty drawers or hand over all the money, officials said. They frequently instructed, “No dye packs or GPS” and mentioned being armed or having a gun, court records show.
The robber would often demand “big bills” or “more hundreds,” police said.
Former corrections officer remembers Thorington
When images of the bank robber from the North East, Pennsylvania, incidents were released to the public, a former corrections officer recognized him as a former inmate he had supervised, officials said.
The corrections officer worked at Lake Erie Correctional Institute from June 2017 through December 2020, court records show.
Thorington was sentenced Nov. 28, 2017, to three years in prison at the Warren Correctional Institution for one count of robbery. He was released from prison Dec. 26, 2021, his parole officer confirmed.
It took the former corrections officer some time to determine the former inmate’s name, and he initially thought it was “Thornton,” the criminal complaint says. He spoke to the warden to view mugshots of former inmates and couldn’t find a matching picture, according to authorities.
His former lieutenant ultimately determined the inmate’s name had been Thorington, not “Thornton,” police said. The former corrections officer found a mugshot of Thorington and confirmed that he was the person who robbed the KeyBank in North East.
On May 13, the former corrections officer met with North East police and identified the bank robber at the Widget Federal Credit Union as Thorington, because of his “distinctive walk,” the complaint says.
The former corrections officer described the walk as “having a limp and throwing his arms in the air,” court records show.
A previous mugshot taken of Thorington by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections showed the letters “Bles” tattooed on the left side of his neck, police said. His clothing blocked the rest of the tattoo, which said, “Blessed,” but the type and font matched, according to officials.
Thorington’s parole officer viewed surveillance images form the bank robberies in North East and agreed that the person in the photos was Thorington, the criminal complaint says.
Authorities said they also found social media pictures of Thorington wearing the black Nike three-quarter-zip jacket used in three of the robberies.
Officials said Martin’s cellphone was detected in the area and around the same time as nine of the bank robberies -- Elkhart, South Bend, Albion, Okemos, Blasdell, Westfield, North East (Widget Financial), North Collins, and Monroe (May 12 -- PNC Bank).
A cellphone was used by Thorington was pinpointed near the four robberies between March 17 and April 17, which is the only time period when that number was active, according to authorities. Those robberies were in Okemos, Flat Rock, Blasdell, and Westfield.
“Based on my training and experience, it is extremely unlikely that any particular individual would have been in those robbery locations at those times by mere chance unless they were directly involved in the incidents in some fashion,” a special agent with the FBI wrote in the criminal complaint.
One of the top callers of that Thorington’s phone during the month it was active was his mother, records showed. Another of the top callers was a friend of Thorington’s who is listed on his correctional visitation list, officials said.
There were 19 calls between Martin and Thorington during that month, according to the criminal complaint.
Officials said Thorington and Martin had a history of committing crimes together. Thorington listed Martin as a “friend” on his visitation list when he was admitted to the Warren Correctional Institution in November 2017, according to authorities.
Martin visited Thorington multiple times between April 2018 and August 2019, but he was then permanently restricted from visitation for bringing Thorington narcotics, officials said. Both Martin and Thorington were charged and convicted in that incident.
Since a “getaway driver” was seen during many of the above bank robberies, authorities believed another person must have been working with Thorington.
“Thorington and Martin have a history of working together to commit criminal acts, as displayed by the past conviction of narcotics conveyance to a detention facility,” the criminal complaint states. “Based on the above facts, it is believed that Thorington and Martin are conspiring together again to commit bank robbery.”
The criminal complaint concludes that there’s probable cause to charge Thorington and Martin with bank robbery and incidental crimes, including aiding and abetting, as well as conspiracy to commit bank robbery.