OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
MATT J. WHITWORTH
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
JULY 10, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TWO MEN CHARGED IN ARMED BANK ROBBERY CONSPIRACY
SERIES OF ARMED ROBBERIES CULMINATED
IN SHOOT-OUT WITH OFFICERS
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Matt J. Whitworth, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that two men have been charged for participating in a conspiracy that involved several armed bank robberies this week and culminated in a vehicle pursuit and shoot-out with law enforcement officers.
William Alan Wolfe, 28, of Fulton, Mo., and Michael A. Leak, 18, of Columbia, Mo., were charged in separate criminal complaints filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo.
The federal criminal complaints allege that Wolfe and Leak were involved in a conspiracy to commit a series of armed bank robberies from July 2 to July 9, 2009.
According to affidavits filed in support of the federal criminal complaints, the most recent robbery occurred when Wolfe entered F&C Bank, 1006 Eagle Crest Drive, Holden, Mo., at about 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday, July 8, 2009. As he was entering the bank, a customer was attempting to exit the bank. Wolfe allegedly pointed a handgun at the customer and ordered him to the floor, then proceeded to the teller counter and ordered the teller to provide him with the money from the teller drawers. Wolfe left the bank with $12,060 and got into a Buick LeSabre driven by Leak, the affidavit says.
Approximately three miles east of the bank, the LeSabre was spotted by a deputy sheriff with the Johnson County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department. The deputy attempted to stop the vehicle by activating his lights and sirens. At that time, the affidavit says, Wolfe fired multiple shots from a rifle at the deputy, striking his vehicle multiple times. Both the deputy and the Chief of Police for the Holden, Mo., Police Department continued to pursue the vehicle. During the pursuit, while the vehicles were moving, Wolfe allegedly continued to shoot at the police chief, striking the police vehicle in the windshield and disabling the vehicle.
During a search for the robbers, the getaway vehicle – which was registered to Wolfe – was found engulfed in flames in Chilhowee, Mo. Wolfe and Leak allegedly stole a flatbed pickup truck from a nearby home. The truck was later located near Boonville, Mo., where it was partially submerged in the Missouri River.
Law enforcement officers located Leak in his room at Hotel Super 7, 1306 Range Line, Columbia, Mo., at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday, July 9, 2009, and placed him under arrest. Wolfe was arrested today.
The affidavit alleges that Wolfe and Leak were also involved in two earlier bank robberies.
On July 2, 2009, Wolfe allegedly entered Bank of Brookfield Purden, 33332 Main, Winigan, Mo., at about 9:02 a.m. Wolfe approached a teller and pointed a semi-automatic handgun at her, the affidavit says. He allegedly ordered her to provide him with money, which he placed in a black nylon bag, then pointed the pistol at two other occupants inside the bank prior to his exit. According to the affidavits, Wolfe stole $25,561 from the bank and left in the Buick that was driven by Leak.
On July 7, 2009, Leak allegedly entered Community State Bank, 300 East Hazel, Clarence, Mo., at about 9:30 a.m. Leak, wearing a silver-colored mask and carrying a semi-automatic handgun and black duffel bag, approached a teller and instructed her to put money in the bag, the indictment says. According to the indictment, Leak stole $4,700 from the bank and left in a vehicle driven by Wolfe.
Whitworth cautioned that the charges contained in these complaints are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney D. Michael Green. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Johnson County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, and the Holden, Mo., Police Department.
This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at