Joplin, Mo. -- (2/7/2018) The arrested male has been identified as 35-year-old Joshua Gilchrist of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
The Joplin Police Department responded to a call at Great Southern Bank Wednesday afternoon. According to a report from bank employees, a black male in a dark-colored Ford Mustang had been driving “suspiciously” in their parking lot.
Officers arrived and learned that the male had come into the bank, stood around and acted suspiciously with his statements and actions. They also reported he had a pair of visible handcuffs on his waistline and a bulge in his back pocket. Employees reported the man left the bank and kept driving back by, so one employee followed him to Arvest Bank nearby.
Officers then responded to Arvest Bank and contacted employees. Authorities learned he had similar suspicious activity there and was described as having “a visible pair of handcuffs and a bulge in his back pocket.” He had also left that location before officers arrived.
While officers were investigating the incidents and reviewing video footage from both locations, employees from Great Southern Bank called and said the male had returned and was circling the bank. An officer quickly arrived and stopped the male as he was leaving before arresting him for traffic violations. JPD detectives responded and seized numerous items from his vehicle while investigating his actions at the two banks.
The male provided his brothers identity as well as his own and was booked under the false name and bonded out of jail. Shortly after he bonded out, JPD detectives learned of a bank robbery earlier in the day in Tulsa with the same suspect description and vehicle description.
The FBI has since taken over the investigation with the assistance of Joplin Police. The suspect was later arrested as it was learned he had lied about his identity earlier in the day. He is being held at the Joplin City Jail.
The FBI is currently investigating this suspect and the Tulsa Bank Robbery. JPD is requesting that any additional information about that case be directed to the FBI.
(Edited Media Release)