Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cop commits string of bank robberies -- Minneapolis, MN

A Minneapolis police officer has been charged in federal court in the armed robbery of an Apple Valley bank, and police say he is likely the masked gunman in at least four other robberies across the southern suburbs.

The officer, a member of the police department's highly trained SWAT team, is suspected of carrying out the armed bank, store and street robberies in a ski mask shortly after working his overnight police shift.

Local law enforcement officials said the charges against Timothy E. Carson, 28, of Rosemount, cast a shadow on a profession that works hard to protect citizens.

"This is a very, very shocking case," Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan said. "It does tarnish the badge."

Minneapolis Police Federation President John Delmonico called the incidents "disgusting."

"Trust, ethics, respect, responsibility — everything law enforcement stands for, this goes against," Delmonico said.

Apple Valley police arrested Carson on Wednesday night in connection with the robbery of a Wells Fargo Bank on Pilot Knob Road earlier in the day, police said. He was later transferred to federal custody.

Carson made his initial court appearance Thursday in U.S. District Court in St. Paul before Magistrate Judge Jeanne Graham, said Jeanne Cooney, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in Minneapolis. He was charged with one count of bank robbery. Graham appointed a public defender to Carson, noting a report that said he was carrying "quite a bit of debt."

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