News and Press Releases

springfield man charged in armed bank robbery

November 29, 2011

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Springfield, Mo., man was charged in federal court today with the armed robbery of Great Southern Bank in Springfield.

Kwanell Allen, 21, of Springfield, was charged with stealing $20,664 in a federal criminal complaint in the U.S. District Court in Springfield, Mo.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the federal criminal complaint, Allen entered Great Southern Bank, 507 E. Kearney, Springfield, at approximately 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011. Allen was wearing all black clothing, including a black ski mask and black hooded sweatshirt, the affidavit says. He was allegedly armed with two semi-automatic pistols.

Allen allegedly proceeded to conduct a takeover-style robbery of the bank. According to the affidavit, he first entered the branch manager’s office and held a pistol to her head. Allen forced her into the lobby as he continued to hold the gun to her head, the affidavit says, and demanded that a teller remove cash from the teller drawers and put it into the trash can behind the teller counter. He then ordered the teller to remove the liner of the trash can and give it to him, according to the affidavit, and ordered the teller to climb over the counter and into the lobby.

Allen allegedly forced the manager and the teller into the manager’s office, where he made them rip the phone cord out of the wall, lay face down on the floor, and count to 100 as he left the bank.

Cameras inside the bank captured surveillance photos during the robbery. Cameras located outside the bank, the affidavit says, captured images of Allen’s vehicle, a maroon minivan with a distinct grill and no visible license plates, as he arrived just prior to the robbery. Several surveillance photos were provided to local media outlets, and the next day the Springfield Police Department received a tip from a caller who identified Allen.

Law enforcement officers conducted surveillance in the area of Allen’s residence, where a vehicle matching the surveillance photos was parked in the driveway. When Allen left the residence at approximately 10:50 a.m. today, he was stopped by Springfield police officers and agents from the FBI and arrested.

Phillips cautioned that the charge contained in this complaint is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge 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 James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by the FBI and the Springfield, Mo., Police Department.

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