Suspects in Bank of America robbery arrested near Seattle

Monday, January 19, 2004

Three suspects in the Jan. 12 armed robbery of the Bank of America branch at 800 N. Kingshighway in Cape Girardeau were captured Sunday on the West Coast, according to the FBI.

Derek E. "Rio" Riggs, 24, of Bloomfield, Ill., Dareme P. "Sammy" Tipler, 24, and Corey D. "Blue" or "Komo" Lyons, 30, both of Charleston, Mo., were captured after a standoff with police and FBI agents at Embassy Suites Hotel in Bellevue, Wash., a city just east of Seattle.

According to an online story by the Seattle Times, the FBI said the men were in the area because one of them has a relative there. The standoff began at about 7:30 a.m. Sunday, when agents learned of the men's whereabouts.

"The FBI set up a tactical team and negotiators were called in," said FBI agent Mike McComas, supervisor of the Cape Girardeau office of the FBI.

The bureau then removed bystanders from the hotel and sent in a team to capture the suspects after several hours, he said. No one was injured, and the suspects gave up without incident.

Approximately $10,300 was stolen in last week's robbery, in which the FBI said the men forced everyone in the bank to lie on the floor at gunpoint.

McComas said he wasn't sure yet what had been recovered from the suspects after the arrests.

Another suspect in the robbery, Toria W. Lawrence, 20, of Sikeston, Mo., has already appeared in federal court. A criminal complaint filed by FBI agent Thomas J. Blades Jr. alleged that Lawrence entered the bank before the robbery as a scout, then drove the getaway car, a rented silver 2004 Buick Century.

According to the FBI, Lawrence admitted to her role in the robbery after their questioning on the evening of the crime and identified by photo the other three suspects. She also turned in $139 she said she had made in the robbery.

FBI agents have been tracking Riggs, Tipler and Lyons since the robbery, and finally caught up with them in Washington. McComas said that to his knowledge they aren't facing any Washington charges.

McComas said that they now have at least two options.

"They can take Federal Rule 20," he said, "which means they would plead guilty in Washington and wouldn't be extradited to Missouri. Or they can be extradited back to Cape Girardeau for a federal trial."

If convicted of armed robbery, they could face 25 years in prison.

335-6611, extension 226

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