The puzzling, barefoot robber with a string of simple bank jobs that intrigued the entire city comes to an end. Believe it or not, it has frustrated and taken the Homewood Police officers seven weeks to put into custody Mr. Jennings Palmer, the most soughtt-after bank robber of America in recent times. This has been made possible by the FBI combining the evidence from the old-fashioned shoe leather and the new high-tech forensics to solve the case.
In a span of one and a half months, a string of bank robberies in Homewood-Flossmoor area have annoyed the law-enforcers as well as put them at the end of their nerves. The police have not been able to capture the suspect and bring him to justice. These chains of incidents have shaken and sent bank tellers into panic. During all the incidences, eye-witnesses affirmed a teenage man wearing ski-mask and ski-gloves would walk into random areas in the banking halls. Mark you, in a broad daylight! Without fear, he demanded 20,000 dollars in unmarked bills putting bank employees at a gun point.
Sandy McConnell, 32, a bank teller at Kerry Trust National Bank says that the robber seemed worried and uneasy as he ordered the amount because she remembers his hands trembling when he received the money. You won’t believe that in a period between May, 1 and June, 22, Jennings Palmer has robbed seven different banks, each one every week. Kerry Trust included that he has robbed two branches of Pioneer Regional Bank, one branch of Silverado Savings and Loan, two branches of Pillar Legacy Mutual and one branch of Illinois Farmers Trust.
Based on the reports reaching us, the bank robber is medium build and has a medium height. He wears a pair of jeans, a white T-shirt and he always was barefoot with gloves on his hands and a mask on the face. A Police Chief Max Peerless says that it was this bare-footedness that revealed his identity because gloves made it difficult to find his fingerprints and identify any specific suspect. An FBI detective with a background in biometrics and forensics had come up with an idea that they were able to dust for toe prints and use it capture the suspect in this case. Max further says that a neighbor recognized him from the bank robbery video aired in the local news stations. He tipped the police on the exact location of the suspect. The police got to him, collected his toe prints and matched them with the suspect’s toe prints and wow! Perfect match!
An FBI Supervisory Fingerprint specialist, now retired, Peter J. Dodd notes that such cases are rear and unusual, but they are heard once in a while. In another case related to this, he says that they had matched a suspect’s forehead print left on a jewelry store window and used it as evidence to bring him to justice. He further says that new biometric technology that is able to match vein patterns on hands is available and has made these cases easy to unravel.
A police spokesperson says that the unusual operating methods of the suspect had made them have misleading thoughts. He had made them think that they were dealing with an emotionally disturbed person even though they took the crimes seriously. The police officers had been clearly hindered by the lack of tangible evidence to run through the AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System). The chief of police conceded the complexity of the case.