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“Respectful robber” tied to armed robberies in three states

Steven Timothy Snyder, the “respectful robber,” shot and killed a Wisconsin man and a Wisconsin State Trooper, after a bank robbery March 24.

Steven Timothy Snyder, the “respectful robber,” shot and killed a Wisconsin man and a Wisconsin State Trooper, after a bank robbery March 24.

The “respectful robber” turned cold-blooded killer, aka Steven Timothy Snyder, of Kingston, Michigan, is now believed to be responsible for nine armed robberies of banks located in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio, according to the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office, who is part of a law enforcement task force investigating his crimes.

The Newaygo County Sheriff Office put out a news release, in January 2015, announcing a $35,000 reward and asking for the public’s help in identifying a suspected serial bank robber that the FBI dubbed the “respectful robber.” At that time, the Caucasian male bank robber was suspected of robbing banks at gunpoint in Luther, Michigan (Lake County in June of 2011), Wellston, Michigan (Manistee County in June of 2011), Pellston, Michigan (Emmet County November of 2011), and Croton, Michigan (Newaygo County in September of 2013).

In March, someone called the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office and said they believed they knew who this bank robber was. The person was interviewed and identified the suspect as Steven Timothy Snyder, 38, from Kingston, Michigan (which is in the thumb area). Newaygo County Sheriff’s Detectives and FBI Agents immediately began a thorough background and criminal history check and attempted to gain supporting evidence of the citizen’s information, including getting Snyder’s DNA to compare to the Michigan bank robberies where suspect DNA had been left behind.

Meanwhile, on March 24, an armed bank robbery occurred in Marinette County, Northern Wisconsin at the State Bank of Florence, in the small town of Wasaukee. The lone Caucasian male bank robber, armed with a semi-auto pistol, shot one round in to the ceiling of the bank, before stealing an employee’s vehicle to drive to where his getaway car was parked.

Police believe that citizen Thomas Christ came upon the robbery suspect and may have confronted him about parking his car on or near Christ’s property. Not long after the 911 call for the bank robbery in Wasaukee, there was a report of a male victim lying near his truck, who had been shot to death. The victim was identified as 59-year-old Thomas Christ and evidence later showed that Steven Timothy Snyder was responsible for both the bank robbery and the murder of Thomas Christ on March 24.

Within a couple of hours of this bank robbery, FBI agents from Michigan and Wisconsin networked and were attempting to locate Steven Timothy Snyder to see if he could be responsible for the bank robbery in Wasaukee. Investigators were able to determine what vehicle Snyder was driving and that he was in central Wisconsin, apparently driving southbound.  Detectives and FBI Agents determined that Snyder could be responsible for the robbery and murder in Wasaukee and decided to call the Wisconsin State Patrol to attempt a high-risk traffic stop on Snyder and his vehicle.

Wisconsin State Trooper Trevor Casper, who was 21 years old at the time and on his first solo shift as a trooper, spotted the suspect vehicle going southbound on highway 41 north of Fond Du Lac. Trooper Casper began following the vehicle without his lights or siren on, while waiting for other patrol units to attempt the traffic stop. Before other units could join, Snyder did a quick U-turn, exited his car and began shooting at Trooper Casper in his patrol car, mortally wounding him. Trooper Casper exited his car and returned fire, hitting Snyder, who ran a short distance and died on scene.

DNA was obtained from Snyder and extensive follow-up was conducted to determine what other crimes he may have committed. On June 24, 2015 a meeting was held in Emmet County, Michigan, at the Pellston Regional Airport, where 19 Sheriffs, Detectives, and FBI agents from Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio met and discussed all of their open bank robberies suspected to have been committed by Snyder.  So far, Steven Snyder has been linked through DNA, rental car records, hotel records, video surveillance, and/or method of operation to the following nine bank robberies in MI, WI, and Ohio:

1. June 3, 2011- Lake Osceola State Bank, Luther, MI (Lake County)

2. June 22, 2011- Lake Osceola State Bank, Wellston, MI (Manistee County)

3. November 16, 2011- Citizens National Bank, Pellston, MI (Emmet County)

4. September 3, 2013- Independent Bank, Croton, MI (Newaygo County)

5. November 26, 2013-National Bank of Commerce, Poplar, WI (Douglas County)

6. April 11, 2014- Dairy State Bank, Haugen, WI (Barron County)

7. August 6, 2014- Banner Bank, Hatley, WI (Marathon County)

8. March 4, 2015- Lebanon Citizens National Bank, Rochester, OH (Warren County)

9. March 24, 2015- State Bank of Florence, Wasaukee, WI (Marinette County)

The task force of law enforcement agencies that investigated the above listed Michigan bank robberies includes the FBI, Michigan State Police, Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Emmet County Sheriff’s Office, and the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office.



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