FBI: Facebook Selfie Sunk Bank Robbery Suspect
Man, 21, posed with machine gun he showed to teller
MARCH 10--A Michigan bank robbery suspect was collared by the FBI after posting a Facebook selfie showing him holding a submachine gun that he allegedly brandished during a holdup last week.
Investigators allege that Jules Bahler, 21, robbed three Michigan banks over an eight-day period ending last Wednesday. During the first two heists--at banks in Pontiac--Bahler passed a note to a teller and demanded money.
On March 5, Bahler walked into a Chemical Bank branch in Bay City and “displayed what appeared to be a black sub machine gun and demanded money,” according to an affidavit sworn by FBI Agent Sean Callaghan. After a teller gave Bahler $7000, he fled the bank. The prior Pontiac robberies, Callaghan noted, netted Bahler a combined $8300.
A police sergeant Thursday pointed the FBI to Bahler’s Facebook page, which included photos of him posing with “what appeared to be a sub machine gun and wearing clothes matching those used in the aforementioned bank robberies,” reported Callaghan. The affidavit does not reveal how the cop identified Bahler as a possible suspect.
The photo, seen above, was uploaded to Bahler’s Facebook page on March 5, before the Chemical Bank robbery. Bahler, a Brooklyn native who uses the online handle “King Romeo,” captioned the image, “Bought my first house And chopper today..lifes great.” Upon spotting the image, a friend of Bahler’s cautioned him, “U tripping brotha I wouldn't show that shit off like that cops be watching this shit brotha.”
As it turned out, that was wise advice on the part of one “King Machette.”
On Friday, investigators conducted a traffic stop on Bahler after they watched him depart his Pontiac home. “A black sub machine gun was found in a duffle bag that was located at Bahler’s feet," Agent Callaghan reported. During a subsequent interview, Bahler waived his Miranda rights and reportedly confessed to all three bank robberies.
Bahler (seen at left) was named in a two-count felony complaint charging him with bank robbery and carrying a firearm during the commission of a violent crime. He is locked up in advance of a detention hearing scheduled for tomorrow afternoon in U.S. District Court in Detroit.
Bahler, who joined Facebook last month, has 206 friends, some of whom claim an affiliation with the Latin Kings street gang. His final Facebook post came Friday, before he was taken into custody by FBI agents Oakland County sheriff’s deputies. “fleelin like damn,” he wrote. (3 pages)