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Independence man sentenced as ‘career offender’ for robbing 3 local banks

The three bank robberies happened within a period of about a month in 2019
A photo of the robbery at Bank of Odessa, which was just before Holmes was arrested.
A photo of the robbery at Bank of Odessa, which was just before Holmes was arrested.(Provided to KCTV5 News by the U.S. Department of Justice)
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 4:30 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - An Independence man has been sentenced for robbing banks in KCMO, Lee’s Summit, and Odessa within a period of about a month in 2019.

Hubert J. Holmes, 61, admitted to robbing three banks and was sentenced to 15 years in prison without parole. He was sentenced as “a career offender.”

The U.S. Department of Justice said the first in the string of bank robberies happened on May 21, 2019, at Summit Ridge Credit Union on NE Ralph Powell Road in Lee’s Summit. Holmes went inside, demanded money, and then pulled out a handgun and slammed it on the counter when the teller hesitated. He was given $13,243 and ran away. Surveillance video showed him running to a minivan in a nearby parking lot.

While fleeing the scene, he dropped $7,000. That was recovered and returned to the credit union. A few days after the robbery, investigators received a tip that identified Holmes as the bank robber and provided his minivan’s license plate number.

Left: The robbery at Summit Ridge Credit Union. Right: The robbery at Central Bank of the...
Left: The robbery at Summit Ridge Credit Union. Right: The robbery at Central Bank of the Midwest.(Provided to KCTV5 News by the U.S. Department of Justice)

The second robbery happened on June 7, 2019, at Central Bank of the Midwest on Wornall Road in Kansas City, Missouri. Holmes wore a ski mask and demanded the teller give him $50 and $100 bills. She said she didn’t have larger bill and he said, “Give me all of them.” Ultimately, Holmes ran away from the bank with $1,094.

Investigators were able to match a fingerprint from that scene to Holmes.

The third robbery happened on June 20, 2019, at Bank of Odessa on S. 2nd Street. Holmes again wore a ski mask and demanded that the teller open her drawer. He reached over the counter and got $3,099. Then, he ran away and met with an accomplice parked nearby who was driving his van. Since he was rushing, he dropped money in the alley. However, he grabbed it this time and got into the van.

Holmes was ultimately arrested later that day. After the Bank of Odessa robbery, the authorities began surveilling his residence. When officers saw him driving a minivan, they pulled him over. Both he and his passenger were arrested.

Holmes had a large amount of money in the front pocket of his jeans, including bait bills that were taken during the robbery. The DOJ notes that bait bills have known serial numbers and that banks use them to help police trace money back to a robbery. The passenger, who did match the description of the getaway driver, had $404 in his pockets. Officers also found a handgun under a seat when the van was searched.

The DOJ said that Holmes’s plea agreement also refers to a robbery in North Kansas City at Country Club Bank on Armour Road. On Dec. 26, 2018, two men with their faces covered walked into the bank. One of them went behind the counter and took $16,000 from teller drawers. He tried to carry the cash in his hoodie, but dropped some as he walked out. Meanwhile, the other man stood at the door and gave orders to everyone inside. When they left, they got into Holmes’ van and drove away.

Holmes did not plead guilty to the indictment’s charge for this North Kansas City Bank robbery. He denies being involved. The DOJ, however, said that surveillance video of the van became an investigative lead later in the case. The DOJ said it was Holmes’ van that was seen in that surveillance video.

Holmes was on federal supervised release at the time of these robberies following a prior felony conviction for bank robbery.

His other prior convictions include: Robbery, armed criminal action, possession of a deadly weapon, disorderly conduct, burglary, resisting an officer, providing false information to a police officer, plus multiple convictions for possession and delivery of a controlled substance in a correctional center.