Suspect in 10 bank robberies arrested


The FBI says this surveillance image shows Chad Schaffner, who they say robbed at least 10 banks.
A man suspected of robbing at least 10 banks in four states has been arrested, according to an FBI investigator and the Missouri State Patrol.

Chad Schaffner was arrested Saturday in Callaway County, Missouri, according to a dispatcher for the Missouri State Patrol and an FBI investigator close to the case. The arrest took place in Kingdom City, Missouri, at about 2:45 p.m., said Missouri State Patrol radio operator Paula Price. Authorities received a tip from someone who recognized Schaffner and gave his whereabouts, she said. Price would not say where the arrest took place, but said it occurred without incident and did not happen during a traffic stop. Kingdom City is about 100 miles west of St. Louis, Missouri. Schaffner, 37, faces charges including bank robbery in Tennessee; burglary in Indiana; armed robbery in Illinois; and receiving stolen property in Ohio, Price said. He also faces drug charges from the Missouri State Patrol, she said. Schaffner is suspected of robbing banks in Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, according to the FBI. A woman in Morristown, Tennessee, also told authorities Schaffner hid in her apartment and threatened to kill her children if she revealed his whereabouts, according to documents filed in federal court. A spokeswoman for the Callaway County Jail, in Fulton, Missouri, said Schaffner was booked into the facility about 8 p.m. Saturday. No bond has been set, and there was no immediate information on when Schaffner would appear in court and where he would be extradited, she said.

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Schaffner was identified last month after investigators posted surveillance photos from the robberies on electronic billboards throughout the South. In the photos, a man was seen sneering and holding a pistol sideways. The robberies began in May and continued through August. While no one was harmed, the FBI said they considered the suspect dangerous. “This guy has made no effort to hide the gun,” said FBI agent Kevin Keithley last month. “He has threatened the use of it in every bank robbery he has committed. He has put the gun in the faces of the tellers, threatened to use the gun against them. So we want to get this guy in custody before he harms anyone.” When Schaffner was identified, the FBI said he was released from an Indiana prison last year following an armed robbery conviction. He also has several other convictions in Indiana, for crimes including burglary, resisting law enforcement, and purchase of a handgun without a license, according to the Indiana Department of Correction. The last two bank robberies occurred in Morristown and Jefferson City, Tennessee, on August 18, authorities said. The day after the billboards began showing images from the robberies, a man told the FBI Schaffner was in the Morristown area at the time. The man said he’d known Schaffner for about two months, according to a federal criminal complaint. FBI agents also interviewed a Morristown woman after hearing she’d had a brief relationship with Schaffner, the complaint says. During the first interview, she spoke to agents outside her apartment and denied knowing him, the complaint said. But the next day she told authorities she knew Schaffner and that he had been in her apartment with her children while she talked to police outside. He had threatened to kill the children if she told agents he was there, the woman said.

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