Suspected bank robber arrested

Suspected bank robber arrested
By: CJ Cassidy
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. - Just 48 hours after a bank robbery, a 21-year-old Poplar Bluff man sits behind bars, charged with the crime. A masked man, carrying a gun robbed a Commerce Bank on Highway 67 Monday. Police say John Franklin Rogers Junior is that robber.
It's all thanks to some good old fashioned police work and an alert employee at another bank.  Now investigators say not only do they have the suspect in the bank robbery. They believe Rogers is also behind three home burglaries.
The last bank robbery in Poplar Bluff took place in 1995, so you can imagine not a lot of people saw it coming. Still, investigators say their first lead came in less than an hour after a masked man robbed the Commerce Bank at gunpoint, Monday.
That lead came from an employee at another bank across town.  "She believed she witnessed the person in the car put a ski mask on and sat in the car for a little bit. However when the person got out of car, he wasn't wearing a ski mask," Assistant Chief Gary Pride says.
"He did come in and ask questions about opening an account, then he turned around and left," Diane Powell, Vice President of the Poplar Bluff Federal Credit Union tells Heartland News.
"What was important to us, was, we knew we had someone acting suspicious prior to the bank robbery at Commerce Bank," Pride says.
Thanks to surveillance video from the Federal Credit Union, police also got a look at the face behind the mask. "All we had to do was try to find identity face went to," Pride says.
Police eventually tracked down John Rogers Junior. Along with the mask and gun he used to rob the Commerce Bank. They also found televisions, guns, jewelry and a variety of other items from three burglaries in the county, they were looking into.
Now Diane Powell at the credit union says she's thankful to her alert employee, and hopes signs like this remains crooks they're watching.  "I'm so glad no one was hurt," Powell says.
Rogers is being held at the Poplar Bluff City Jail. The prosecutor says he also faces charges in the other burglaries.
In one case he's alleged to have held a gun on a woman who came home while he was robbing her house, and again a lot of people thankful no one was hurt, and looking forward to getting their things back. City and county investigators worked around the clock, along with the FBI they say they're all glad to have wrapped this case up so quickly.