Missouri man indicted by federal grand jury for bank robbery

Story courtesy of the Miami County Republic

A Kansas City, Mo., man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for robbing a Great Southern Bank in Joplin, Mo., on June 19, and could possibly face a federal indictment in Kansas in connection with a Louisburg bank robbery that occurred earlier that day.

Leland Scott Graham, 57, was charged with bank robbery in an indictment returned by a grand jury on Tuesday, June 27, in U.S. District Court in Springfield.

The Miami County Sheriff’s Office was listed as one of the investigators in the case because the Joplin bank robbery, which occurred on the afternoon of June 19, is possibly linked to the Landmark National Bank robbery that took place that morning in Louisburg.

A federal grand jury has yet to return an indictment for the Louisburg bank robbery. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas likely will be prosecuting that case. The office did not respond to a request for an interview.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the original federal criminal complaint, Graham walked into Great Southern Bank, 1232 S. Range Line Road in Joplin, and allegedly 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, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Western Missouri.

The tellers handed over money, the affidavit states, and Graham left the bank. The affidavit said 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, authorities said.

The Landmark National Bank, located at 100 W. Amity St. in Louisburg, was robbed at about 10 a.m. July 19 when a man entered the facility and demanded money. No weapons were displayed, and he left with an undisclosed amount of money.

No one was injured during the incident. The suspect left the bank in a four-door white sedan, traveling east on Amity Street.

Later Monday the Great Southern Bank branch was robbed in a similar fashion by a suspect matching the Louisburg bank robber’s description who was also driving a white sedan.

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, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office news release.

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, according to the release.

The charge contained in this indictment is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie L. Wan. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Joplin, Mo., Police Department; the Miami County Sheriff’s Office; the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department.