Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Handsome Guy Bandit Enters Guilty Pleas, Admits Robbing 11 Banks in Texas, and Now Faces Up to Life in Prison

Steven Ray Milam, 44, of Richardson, Texas, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Renée Harris Toliver to one count of brandishing a firearm during or in relation to a crime of violence and one count of using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during or in relation to a crime of violence in connection with a string of 11 bank robberies, six of those armed bank robberies, he admitted committing in Texas last year. Milam faces a maximum statutory sentence of not less than 32 years, or more than life, in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay on September 17, 2012.

Milam was given the moniker “Handsome Guy Bandit” by the FBI because of the latex mask he wore when committing the robberies.

According to plea documents filed in the case, Milam admitted robbing the following banks:

  • April 19, 2011: BBVA Compass Bank, 14852 Preston Road, Dallas

  • May 2, 2011 Bank of America, 7300 North MacArthur Blvd., Irving, Texas

  • May 13, 2011 Wells Fargo Bank, 17088 Preston Road, Dallas

  • May 17, 2011 First National Bank, 1300 Preston Road, Plano, Texas

  • June 11, 2011 American National Bank, 1101 E. Plano Parkway, Plano, Texas

  • July 14, 2011 First Community Bank, 1755 North Collins Road, Richardson, Texas

  • August 30, 2011 Patriot Bank, 9545 Katy Freeway, Hedwig Village, Texas

  • September 12, 2011 Wells Fargo Bank, 5219 Richman Avenue, Houston, Texas

  • September 29, 2011 Prosperity Bank, 5919 Forrest Lane, Dallas

  • November 22, 2011 BB&T Bank, 11800 Preston Road, Dallas

  • December 31, 2011 BBVA Compass Bank, 1401 Campbell Road, Richardson, Texas

During the last bank robbery, on December 31, 2011, Milam entered the bank wearing a mask, black frame glasses, a blue warm-up suit, a white ball cap, latex gloves, and was and holding a clear bag and carrying a black semi-automatic handgun. He approached the teller, displayed the gun and demanded money. He then forced the employees and customers into the vault at gun point and told the bank manager to empty the teller drawers, stating, “No dye packs or trackers. I’ll kill you if you put them in the bag.” Milam then forced the employees and customers into the bathroom, told them to count to 500, and said not contact the police.

Police officers intercepted Milam walking away from the bank after the robbery, and when they approached him in their vehicles, he pointed the gun at them. He fired one round at the officer’s squad car, hitting the driver’s side front windshield just above the inspection sticker, causing the glass to shatter over the officer’s head and shoulders. The officers retreated, and Milam shot two more times striking the driver’s door and the back left passenger door of the squad car. He fled on foot, discarding his gun, mask, keys, clothes, and money. He ran to his home in Richardson, packed clothes, and drove to Austin, spending that night in Austin.

The following day, while en route to Florida, he was spotted in Mississippi. Officers attempted to apprehend him, but Milam refused to pull over and a high-speed chase ensued. Milam almost struck several vehicles in the process of escaping and officers shut down portions of the highway in order to deploy road spikes. Milam took evasive maneuvers to avoid the spikes. As a last resort, the local Mississippi sheriff pulled up beside Milam and shot out his back tire, disabling his car and allowing law enforcement to take him into custody.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI, in conjunction with the Richardson Police Department and the Dallas Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brandon McCarthy and Keith Robinson.

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