OCEAN CITY — An Illinois man, dubbed the “I-55 Bandit” after pulling off a string of at least nine bank robberies in five states throughout the summer, including the robbery of the Susquehanna Bank in Ocean City in July, pleaded guilty last week in U.S. District Court and now faces as many as 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.
Last Friday, Andrew Maberry, 19, of O’Fallon, Ill., entered a guilty plea in U.S. District to nine bank robberies in Missouri, Maryland, West Virginia and Tennessee over a period of several months from May to August. Four of the bank robberies took place in Maryland, including the July 24 robbery of the Susquehanna Bank on 94th Street in Ocean City.
On Sept. 11, Maberry surrendered to the FBI office in St. Louis less than 24 hours after an extensive media campaign was launched seeking the public’s help in identifying and capturing the notorious “I-55 Bandit,” which stems from the fact he robbed multiple banks in the St. Louis area along the corridor.
Surveillance images captured at the banks Maberry robbed during the summer-long spree, including the Susequehanna Bank on 94th Street in Ocean City on July 24, appear to indicate the suspect was a busy man and criss-crossed the eastern half of the country. For example, the “I-55 Bandit” made his first appearance in Illinois on May 6 and allegedly hit two banks in Missouri on May 15 and May 21. He made his first appearance in Maryland on June 5 with a bank robbery in Bel Air.
He then went back to Missouri and hit the Commerce Bank in Arnold on July 2 before returning to Maryland to hit another bank in Bel Air on July 19, followed the robbery in Ocean City on July 24. After successfully evading capture here, Maberry went on to hit banks in West Virginia and Tennesee, the last of which occurred on Aug. 14. Perhaps feeling the dragnet tightening, Maberry turned himself in to the FBI office in St. Louis on Sept. 11.
Maberry was indicted in U.S. District Court in Missouri in September and charged with bank robbery by force or violence and robbery of a federally insured institution for the July 2 robbery of the Commerce Bank in Arnold, Mo. That set in motion his indictment on eight other bank robberies including the Ocean City job.
Around 10 a.m. on July 24, an unidentified suspect walked into the Susquehanna Bank on 94th Street and demanded money, received an undisclosed amount of cash and then casually walked back to his awaiting vehicle several blocks away. After robbing the Ocean City bank, the suspect, later identified as Maberry, casually walked south on West Biscayne Drive to his parked vehicle.
He then traveled through the Little Salisbury community to Pacific Ave., but was not seen again. The case remained under investigation and had not been solved until Maberry turned himself in to the FBI and a link was established between as many as nine robberies and two attempted robberies in five states over a period of about two months throughout the summer.
On Sept. 10, a multi-state press release was issued, which included bank security camera photographs and video footage of the “I-55 Bandit.” The FBI district office in St. Louis and in other districts received numerous phone calls from individuals stating they knew Maberry. He turned himself in to authorities in Missouri the next day.
It is uncertain if Maberry will be sentenced for each of nine robberies to which he pleaded guilty, but a U.S. District Court judge will consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines when considering his fate. A sentencing date has not been set.