Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Man who robbed Joplin bank in 2021 pleads guilty

A Kansas City man pleaded guilty this morning in U. S. District Court in Springfield to the July 19, 2021 robbery of Great Southern Bank, 1232 S. Range Line Road, Joplin.

A pre-sentence investigation was ordered with sentencing to be set at a later date.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the original federal criminal complaint, Leland Scott Graham (now 58) walked into the bank, proceeded to the teller counter, announced a robbery, and demanded money before lifting his shirt to display what tellers believed was a handgun in his waistband.

The tellers handed over money, the affidavit says, and Graham left the bank. The affidavit says he dropped some of the cash on the bank floor as he was leaving. Surveillance cameras in the bank captured good quality video during the robbery.

On the day of the robbery, the Joplin Police Department released surveillance images to the media and requested the public’s assistance to identify the bank robber.

The next day, July 20, 2021, the police received a tip that identified Graham as the robber. Officers located Graham in Kansas City, Mo., and attempted to stop the vehicle he was driving. Graham did not immediately stop and after a short pursuit, he left the vehicle and attempted to flee on foot. Graham was taken into custody a short time later.

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