FBI nabs ‘Straw Hat Ban­dit’

Richard Boyle al­legedly robbed 11 area banks

Springfield Sun - - FRONT PAGE - By Linda Finarelli lfinarelli@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @lk­finarelli on Twit­ter

The man be­lieved to be the “Straw Hat Ban­dit,” rob­bing 11 banks in Mont­gomery and Bucks coun­ties over a four-year pe­riod, was ar­rested Thurs­day by fed­eral au­thor­i­ties.

Richard Boyle, 57, of Doylestown, was taken into cus­tody April 20 by the FBI fol­low­ing the re­turn of an in­dict­ment by a fed­eral grand jury April 19, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. At­tor­ney’s Of­fice. He was charged with 11 counts of bank rob­bery, 10 counts of us­ing or car­ry­ing a firearm dur­ing the com­mis­sion of the bank rob­beries, and 10 counts of money laun­der­ing.

Eight years ago Richard Boyle was sen­tenced in Bucks County Court to 3½ to 10 years in state prison, plus 10 years’ pro­ba­tion for steal­ing more than $102,000 from eight banks in Bucks, Mont­gomery, Northamp­ton and Le­high coun­ties in 2007 and 2008, ac­cord­ing to pub­lished re­ports.

The U.S. At­tor­ney’s Of­fice con­firmed it was the same man ar­rested by the FBI Thurs­day.

Boyle al­legedly stole a to­tal of $495,686 dur­ing the 11 bank rob­beries, which oc­curred in Mont­gomery and Bucks coun­ties be­tween 2012 and 2016, ac­cord­ing to the in­dict­ment. It fur­ther al­leges that he laun­dered a por­tion of the pro­ceeds from the rob­beries through his aerial pho­tog­ra­phy busi­ness, in an at­tempt to hide the source of the funds.

The first rob­bery at­trib­uted to the “Straw Hat Ban­dit,” so-named from a dis­guise he had used, was com­mit­ted June 8, 2012, at Colo­nial Amer­i­can Bank, 300 Welsh Road, in Horsham. The sec­ond came three months later, on Sept. 28, at the First Fed­eral Bank, 803 Park Av­enue in Wright­stown.

At the start of 2013, on Jan. 18, the same man is be­lieved to have held up the Wells Fargo Bank, 706 Stony Hill Road in Yardley, and then on March 30 robbed the PNC Bank, 1015 S. Beth­le­hem Pike in Ambler.

May 24, 2013, two banks were robbed, the Har­leysville Sav­ings Bank, 1889 E. Ridge Pike in Roy­ers­ford, and the Univest Bank, 4285 Town­ship Line Road in Sch­wenksville.

Three months later, he struck again, this time, Aug. 30, 2013, at the Wells Fargo Bank, 25 W. Skip­pack Pike in Ambler.

Five months passed be­fore the sus­pect held up the First Pri­or­ity Bank, 10 Sen­try Park­way in Blue

Bell on Jan. 2, 2014. The next rob­bery at­trib­uted to him came a year later on Jan. 6, 2015, when he held up the Wells Fargo Bank, 481 W. Ger­man­town Pike in Ply­mouth Meet­ing. Six months later, July 3, 2015, he robbed the Wells Fargo Bank in Dresher.

The last rob­bery be­lieved to be by the same sus­pect was July 2, 2016, at the PNC Bank, 1216 Welsh Road, North Wales.

The sus­pect as­so­ci­ated with the holdups was of­ten re­ported to bran­dish a black semi-au­to­matic pis­tol and or­der ev­ery­one to the floor be­fore de­mand­ing money from the tell­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to the in­dict­ment, Boyle had a pho­tog­ra­phy busi­ness, Sky Eye View, based at his home in Doylestown, that took in lit­tle rev­enue be­tween 2012 and 2016, so “to con­ceal the source of the bank rob­bery pro­ceeds,” he pre­tended the money he stole came from his pho­tog­ra­phy busi­ness. He al­legedly used his own credit cards to process some of the money through a fi­nan­cial ser­vices com­pany.

The case was in­ves­ti­gated by the FBI’S Vi­o­lent Crimes Task Force, in con­junc­tion with the Horsham, New­town, Lower Make­field, Up­per Dublin, Up­per Prov­i­dence, Whit­pain, Ply­mouth, and Mont­gomery town­ship po­lice de­part­ments; Penn­syl­va­nia State Po­lice; and the Mont­gomery County Bucks County District At­tor­ney’s Of­fices. It is be­ing pros­e­cuted by As­sis­tant U.S. At­tor­ney Robert J. Liver­more.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Sur­veil­lance photo of the sus­pected Straw Hat Ban­dit dur­ing the July 2, 2016 rob­bery of the PNC Bank in North Wales.

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