Bloomington Man Charged in Premier Bank Robbery
The Rice County Attorney's office says a 33 year old Bloomington man was charged with multiple counts in alleged connection with the robbery of the Premier Bank in Northfield. De'Andre Dontal McGowan was charged with five felony counts including one count of Aggravated Robbery in the 1st Degree and four counts of Assault in the 2nd Degree-Dangerous Weapon.
Judge Christine Long ordered McGowan be held in custody with bail set at a million dollars with no conditions and a half million with conditions. The Criminal Complaint states on January 15, 2019 at around 11:50 a.m. two black males entered the Premier Bank at 112 East 5th Street in Northfield. It alleges both men were wearing "high visibility vests, hats and face masks that partially covered their faces. The men had pistols. There were four people in the bank, one customer and three staff."
"One of the males yelled at customers and staff to 'put your hands up.' One of the men was waving a gun and told everyone to get down on the floor. An employee was starting to lay on the floor when she was told to get behind the teller line. She was told to keep her face down and not look at him. He then swore at her and said she better cooperate, 'if you want to get out alive.'
"The employee was told to go and get hundreds and not get any funny money." The men were described as heavyset about 6'1 or 6'2 and approximately 240 to 250 pounds. The other man described as thinner, shorter and being in his 30's. One of the men attempted to restrain a bank customer with a zip tie.
"The employee said the thinner men held a gun on her and told her to put the money in a backpack. She complied and placed an undisclosed amount of cash in the backpack. The two men went out the back door,"
The complaint says officers retrieved surveillance video from a number of local businesses. "Based on the video they were able to identify a black four door Pontiac Grand Prix with dull wheels in the area at the time. In later footage the vehicle is seen "heading west on East Sixth Street turning North on Water Street and then West on HIghway 19."
"The Minnesota State Patrol reviewed traffic management camera and found several frames of the vehicle heading North on I-35."
The Criminal Complaint goes on to allege, "Based on information from another bank robbery in a neighboring county, the officers obtained a possible plate number and found it registered to a 2004 Black Buick Pontiac Grand Prix, that car was registered to an address" in Bloomington not far from where the vehicle fitting the description was last seen on traffic cameras.
"Officers obtained a search warrant in Hennepin County and searched the residence and the Grand Prix. In the search, the officers located U.S. Currency of over $800." Also multiple guns and ammunition, a black knit hat, single black glove, black backpack with 5 zip ties inside, black hoodie sweatshirt, bag of zip ties, keys for the Pontiac Grand Prix, "and other items including clothing consistent with the security video and the descriptions provided by the bank employees, customers and the security video."
The Aggravated Robbery-1st Degree charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years or $35,000 fine, or both. The four Assault-2nd Degree-Dangerous Weapon charges range from a maximum sentence of 20 years , or $30,000 fine, or both to a maximum sentence of 3 years, or $5,000 fine, or both.
McGowan is the alleged smaller man involved in the robbery.
The Northfield Police Department issued a news release concerning the charges which says, "The impact of this incident will have a lasting effect on all individuals involved. This was not just a theft from a business, it was an assault on the staff and customers of Premier Bank that day. Northfield Police Department would like to recognize the bravery of those individuals and thank them for their cooperation during the investigation."
The news release goes on to say, "The arrest and charging of McGowan is the result of great investigative work, information and assistance from numerous agencies and partners, and information gathered with the cooperation of local businesses. The combined efforts of all these parties resulted in the successful arrest and charging of the suspect. The case is still open and active , and investigators continue to work with other agencies to identify and locate the second suspect."
Northfield Police are still seeking the public's assistance in finding the second man involved in the robbery. If you saw anything that may be related to the heist you are asked to contact the Northfield Police Department at their non-emergency number 507-645-4475 or the FBI Twin Cities office 763-569-8000.