Tuesday, 31 August 2004 17:00

Texas shop helps foil bank robbers

The auto body shop in Fort Worth, Texas took in the repair just like any other day. The customer signed the repair order for a damaged 1997 GMC pickup truck, got in the rental car, then drove that rental car off to rob the Frost Bank! Not quite the usual scenario. 

Chris Landry, business development manager of Craig's Collision Centers and B & B Body & Paint Stores, talked about his experience in this drama.

"The gist of this story is the stupidity of the bank robbers," stated Landry. "They were in for quite a surprise."

The license plate of the get-away Hertz rental was identified at the scene of the crime as having come from Craig's Collision on Beach Street. For some reason, the robbery team of dumb and dumber called the next day to upgrade the car rental. When they came to Craig's Collision Center to pick up a new car, the calvary was waiting.

The FBI, Fort Worth police and SWAT teams were waiting at the shop to pick up the suspects, Henry Laffooon and Marrin W. Isaacs. "They were like fire ants on a chicken bone," drawled Landry.

"The enforcement officers did a really good job," Landry continued in a more serious tone. As luck would have it, he was in this one of Craig's nine locations on this particular day. Landry recalls the FBI with guns drawn and bulletproof vests waiting in the shop to apprehend the criminals. "It was kind of spooky," he recalled.

Visitors in the house

It just so happened that, on this very day, Landry was introducing an insurance client to Craig's Collision Center. He tried carrying on as though chaos was not reigning around them, finally telling the insurance claims officer: "Forget about bank robbers and the FBI. There is no point in you getting shot today. I think we should do this another time." With Landry's aplomb and the success of the Texas authorities, one would hope that insurance company's relationship with Craig's Collision Center is better than ever.

Fort Worth robbery Sergeant Kevin Morton further explained that "The men were also suspects in the robbery of a Wells Fargo bank on July 8, and Bank One robberies July 15 and 27. Both men are in federal custody. A handgun was recovered from the rental car."

Now, the truck is under repair. The lienholder called the shop with authorization. They will handle the cost. All in a day's work at Craig's Collision Centers in Texas.

Family owned and operated by brothers Craig and Kyle Van Cleve, there are five facilities under the Craig's Collision Center banner and four facilities under the B&B Body and Paint banner.


Read 1560 times