Deadly WA Bank Robbing Bandit Done in By Jailhouse Phone Call
In July 2012 the man known as the "AK-47 Bandit" robbed the Chase Bank branch in North Bend, WA at gunpoint. He was also tied to similar robberies in CA, Idaho, and Nebraska over the next three years. He's been arrested, but authorities have now made shocking discoveries at his home in Montana.
Richard Gathercole of Roundup, MT was taken into custody by the FBI a few days ago, and his home was searched. Gathercole is now believed to be the man known as the "AK-47 Bandit."
At least six bank robberies have been tied to him, including the first one in Chino, CA in 2012 that seriously injured an officer. He was on the FBI's Most Wanted list.
Authorities searching his home found and confiscated bomb making materials, 7 guns, and ammo from his home Wednesday. They also found materials to make fake licenses and ID badges. He'd been on the run for some time, and officials say his latest encounter was that with a Nebraska state trooper in June. He was arrested after firing at the officer who had tried to pull him over. Gathercole was driving a vehicle who's plates didn't match the car.
After an exchange of gunfire, he eluded the trooper, but was caught shortly afterward. But what may have done him in was a Nebraska jailhouse phone call to his mother in Montana. Perhaps without realizing jailhouse conversations are usually recorded, he asked his mother to empty out all the guns and items from his home, giving her a "laundry" list of guns, ammo, bomb making materials etc.
Police raided the home shortly thereafter. Combined with evidence on him during his arrest, and what was found in the home, the FBI believes he's the AK-47 Bandit. The investigation continues.