FBI: Shantz admits to four-state robbery spree

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

MEMPHIS – The FBI claims Tupelo bank robbery suspect Robert Shantz admits holding up six banks from Georgia to Arkansas.

His alleged robbery of Tupelo’s Trustmark Bank on West Main was the first time he held a gun on more than one teller, Agent Gregory D. Adams’ report states.

Shantz and Johnny Leon Harris were arrested Friday afternoon in Memphis after a Bank of Bartlett branch in Cordova was robbed at gunpoint.

Bank robbery is a federal crime.

Monday, federal prosecutors brought them before a magistrate judge for an initial appearance, where charges against them were explained.

A Thursday hearing is set to decide whether they remain in jail or have bond set.

Adams’ report, posted Monday afternoon on the U.S. District Court’s documents web site, states that Shantz admitted shortly after his arrest that he spent most of the money is took – at least $44,000.

Shantz, 32, of Georgia allegedly said he started robbing banks because his taxi business was in financial trouble and “that was the only way he could think of to get the necessary money.”

The report also states that Shantz said he’d never rob a person of “their hard earned money,” but went after banks because they were federally insured.

In all, Adams said Shantz admitted to robbing the Bank of Bartlett, Bank of America in Warner Robins, Ga., BBN&T Bank in Oxford, Ala., Centennial Bank in Conway, Ark., Regions Bank in Marion, Ark., and Tupelo’s Trustmark.

• For more details, especially about how Shantz allegedly carried out the Tupelo hold-up, read Tuesday’s Daily Journal or come back to NEMS360.com.