Tulsa bank robbery suspect now charged with earlier heist
BY DAVID HARPER World Staff Writer
Thursday, May 10, 2012
A Tulsa man who was already accused of robbing a bank in January was charged Thursday with another heist that occurred more than three years ago.
The development of Christopher Alfred Harris as a suspect in the earlier bank robbery was a product of “great investigative work” by the FBI and Tulsa Police Department, a prosecutor said.
Harris, 22, was charged Thursday in an updated federal indictment with robbing the Red Crown Credit Union at 2738 E. 51st St. on Jan. 9, 2009.
On that date, a robber gave a note to a teller at the credit union but pulled the note back before the employee could read it. He reportedly said, “You don’t need to read it. Just give me all the money, or I’m going to shoot you.”
The robber fled on foot, and a police dog tracked him to a vacant lot behind the credit union, where officers thought he got into a getaway car.
The robbery remained unsolved for more than three years despite the release of surveillance footage that provided a relatively clear view of the robber, who was wearing a black jacket, a stocking cap and reading glasses.
Harris was charged in a Feb. 14 Tulsa federal court complaint with robbing the Bank of Oklahoma at 3037 S. Garnett Road on Jan. 27 and with related firearm counts.
An accompanying FBI affidavit says a robber wearing a black jacket, a stocking cap and glasses pointed a gun at the BOk tellers and shouted, “Give me the money!” and “Hurry up! Hurry up! I’m going to shoot you!” before being given $4,215.90.
Harris was arrested on the day of that robbery, and FBI and Tulsa police investigators began comparing the description of the BOk robber — and the method used in the heist — to unsolved robberies in the area, Assistant U.S. Attorney Trent Shores said.
The similarities between the two robberies and a re-examination of the surveillance footage from the January 2009 Red Crown heist led to the grand jury charges filed Thursday, he said.
“It was great investigative work,” Shores said of the efforts of the police officers and FBI agents.
The indictment also includes the still-pending charges pertaining to the BOk robbery.
U.S. Magistrate Paul Cleary has scheduled a June 11 competency hearing for Harris, who is undergoing a psychological evaluation at a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility in San Diego.
Christopher Alfred Harris
The man seen in this surveillance photo robbed the Red Crown Credit Union at 2738 E. 51st St. on Jan. 9, 2009. Police investigators, FBI agents and federal prosecutors allege that he is Christopher Alfred Harris. Courtesy