Police in Austin area seeing increase in bank robberies in 2018

Bee Cave police have arrested a man they said is responsible for two bank robberies in the city. 

Both of the robberies happened at the same bank about three months apart. 

“Earlier this year, the Compass Bank here in Bee Cave was robbed,” said Bee Cave Police Lt. William Pitmon II. 

Pitmon said a suspect handed a note to the bank teller demanding money and left with an undisclosed amount of cash. 

Surveillance cameras inside the bank didn't pick up any clear images of the robber, but police were able to get video of the suspect's car. 

“We focused more on the car and, as we were closing in on who we thought that car belonged to, on June 27, the Compass Bank was robbed again,” said Pitmon.  

The tellers instantly recognized the suspect as the same man who robbed the bank three months earlier according to Pitmon. 

“He also passed a note and this one said he would shoot her. The teller was scared, but in neither time did he display a gun,” Pitmon said.  

This time, surveillance cameras picked up better images of the suspect and the car he was driving. 

“Different vehicle, they got plates off of it, the plates were stolen, but what was different this time was that the officers located, very quickly located, the stolen van,” said Pitmon.  

Then in early July, officers at the Hill Country Galleria spotted a group of people acting suspiciously outside Dick's Sporting Goods. 

“As soon as the officer slowed, they jumped in the vehicle and took off. He was able to get their license plate number and it came back stolen,” Pitmon said.  

Eventually officers caught up to the vehicle and questioned all three people inside. 

“I came in and interviewed them and we developed more evidence, to include some DNA evidence comparisons, and we are 100 percent sure that Daniel Richard Dale is the person that robbed this bank,” said Pitmon.  

Pitmon has reached out to officers in Austin and Buda where the cars were reported stolen. He has also reached out to law enforcement agencies in Houston and San Antonio after locating evidence in the stolen cars. 

“We're checking with other departments to see if they have bank robbery suspects that also meet the same description,” Pitmon said.  

Dale was arrested for robbery, possession of a controlled substance and unauthorized use of a vehicle.

He is currently in the Travis County Jail. In the last 11 years, Bee Cave police have only investigated three bank robberies and that includes the two this year. 

Bee Cave isn't the only department reporting an increase in these type of crimes this year. Austin police are also seeing a spike.

So far this year APD has investigated 19 bank robbery cases. That's compared to 18 total in 2017.