Veteran Police Officer Accused of Robbing Bank

By: Gerri L. Elder

When robbing a bank, it’s best not to be recognized. Police Sergeant Michael Edward Tindall apparently missed the memo.

The Houston Chronicle reported Tindall is accused of robbing a bank in Montgomery County, Texas. Tindall is a 23-year veteran police sergeant in Conroe, Texas who also worked as a security guard at the bank he allegedly robbed.

Tindall was, of course, recognized during the $28,000 robbery and was arrested by the FBI after a 7-month investigation. He has been released on $100,000 bond with special conditions. He will be required to wear an ankle monitoring device, surrender all weapons and attend mental health counseling. Tindall reportedly says he owns “seven or eight” guns.

He is also restricted from communicating with any witnesses in the case and is not permitted to seek employment. A curfew will also be imposed at a later time. His father and stepmother reportedly put up a $5,000 deposit to secure the bond.

Authorities say Tindall allegedly stole more than $28,000 from the First Bank of Conroe on August 11, 2008. He has been charged with one count of bank robbery. The FBI says he was not on-duty at the bank when the robbery occurred.

Tindall’s co-workers at the bank and the Conroe Police Department recognized him on surveillance tapes of the robbery. He is reportedly shown on the tape wearing gloves, a helmet with a visor, dark sunglasses, a dark colored shirt or jacket, jeans and athletic shoes.

During the robbery, Tindall allegedly entered the bank and jumped over the counter into the tellers’ area. He then reportedly demanded money from the bottom drawers be placed into a bag for him. After getting the money, Tindall is said to have jumped back over the counter and exited the bank.

On August 12, the day after the robbery, Lee Warren, the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of First Bank of Conroe contacted the FBI. Warren told Special Agent Soo Barrow he had reason to believe that Tindall had been the bank robber because a teller recognized his voice and the robber’s physical similarities to Tindall.

Two hours after the robbery, Tindall reportedly deposited $5,000 into his bank account. Later, he deposited $10,000 more.

Criminal defense attorney Robert Scardino represents Tindall. After the bond hearing, Scardino told the press that the case against Tindall was weak because there is no physical evidence linking his client to the bank robbery. Tindall, his family and prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s office did not make any public comments after the hearing.

Tindall has been suspended from the Conroe Police Department without pay. If convicted of the bank robbery, he could face a fine of up to $250,000 and up to 20 years in prison. He will not appear in court again unless or until a grand jury indicts him.