Tuesday, October 27, 2009

FBI Task Force Arrests Serial Bank Robber Based on Tip to Scottsdale Police‏

FBI agents and Scottsdale police officers arrested Michael Yanni, 26, of Phoenix, today for allegedly robbing eight banks in a 12-month time period in 2006 and 2007. Yanni was charged by a criminal complaint and made his initial appearance in federal court at 3:00 p.m. today. He will be detained pending a detention hearing set for Thursday, October 29th at 1:30 p.m.

According to the criminal complaint, an anonymous caller left a message for the Scottsdale Police Department on their TIP line in December 2008. Based on details provided by the caller, the Task Force investigated the case for 10 months. They located and spoke with victim tellers and witnesses, and showed them lineups to see if they could identify Yanni as the bank robber. Yanni, formerly of Scottsdale, was identified in all eight banks. Today, the Task Force located Yanni and arrested him without incident at his residence in Phoenix.

The complaint alleges that Yanni committed eight bank robberies in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Carefree and Marana, Ariz., between June 13, 2006, and June 29, 2007. He typically wore a bandana and mirrored aviator sunglasses. Also according to the complaint, after asking the victim tellers for money, he frequently asked them to “do it quietly.”

“The Violent Crime/Bank Robbery Task Force has been extremely successful in bringing bank robbers to justice,” stated U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke. “When federal, state, and local law enforcement create and maintain partnerships to target specific crime, and the residents of Arizona also provide information, the result is safer communities.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge Nathan T. Gray, Phoenix Division, stated that, “The arrest of Michael Yanni by the FBI’s Bank Robbery Task Force is another fine example of the commitment and professionalism of task force members who represent their respective law enforcement agencies. Our law enforcement partners have been instrumental in the effectiveness of the bank robbery task force in its efforts to reduce bank robberies in the Valley. In addition, we are grateful to the public for its willingness to get involved and assist the law enforcement community.”

After countless hours of investigation leading to the arrest of Yanni, Scottsdale Police Chief Alan Rodbell stated, “The entire investigation is like a puzzle with many pieces. When we are looking for that final piece that a member of our community is holding, we greatly appreciate their cooperation in partnering with us. This case is a prime example of how the public can partner with us to remove a criminal from our streets.”

There have been 183 bank robberies in the Phoenix metropolitan area since January 1, 2009. The Violent Crime/Bank Robbery Task Force has solved 121 to date.

A conviction for each count of Bank Robbery carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine or both. A criminal complaint is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The FBI has partnered with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, the Mesa Police Department, the Phoenix Police Department, the Scottsdale Police Department, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to form the Violent Crime/Bank Robbery Task Force in order to investigate, arrest and seek prosecution of those responsible for robbing banks in the Valley. The prosecution in this case is being handled by Jennifer E. Green, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.


RELEASE NUMBER: 2009-336(Yanni)

Source: FBI Phoenix Office

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