Police believe they’ve solved bank robberies in both Pekin and Peoria with one arrest.
Clayton Keefer, 36, is a heroin addict who apparently didn’t put much deep thought into his crimes, Pekin’s police spokesman said Friday.
To rob a bank monitored, as virtually all are, by security cameras with no disguise or mask besides the stocking cap and gloves he wore against the day’s deep cold, “Obviously, that’s a desperate move,” said Pekin Police Public Information Officer Don Jolly.
Keefer, of Peoria, admitted soon after his arrest Thursday that he robbed the Heartland Bank branch at 3400 Court Street last Tuesday, Jolly said.
He also confessed to fleeing with cash on Jan. 17 from the Peoria Community Bank at 6907 N. Knoxville Ave., Jolly said.
Peoria police took Keefer into custody at 3:50 p.m. Thursday after Pekin investigators, working with FBI agents, provided information pointing to him as the suspect in both crimes.
Jolly declined to detail the information, but said Pekin’s investigators concluded soon after the Heartland robbery that they likely were looking for a man who wasn’t as concerned about getting away with the crime as much as he was about obtaining cash immediately.
Keefer’s criminal history placed him on a short list of potential suspects.
He was a Pekin resident in 2000 when he was sentenced to five years in prison for residential burglary and 18 months for drug possession six years later. As a Peoria resident in 2008 he returned to prison on another five-year term for forgery and felony retail theft in Tazewell County.
Shortly before noon last Tuesday, he allegedly entered the Heartland branch and handed a teller a note demanding money. The robber displayed no weapon or implied he had one. When the teller opened a drawer with cash, he leaned over the counter, grabbed handfuls of bills and walked quickly back out the front door.
Keefer used the same basic tactics at the Peoria bank, police said. There he handed a teller a note demanding cash in $100, $50 and $20 bills and with the warning that “no one gets hurt” if she complied. No weapon was displayed in that case as well.
Keefer remained held Friday in Peoria County Jail and is expected to appear in Tazewell County Circuit Court for the Pekin robbery early next week.
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