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article imageBank teller who helped catch robber pushed to resign for accepting reward

By Chris V. Thangham     Oct 16, 2007 in Crime
A Bank of America teller helped catch a notorious bank robber, who robbed 19 banks in 10 months, was rewarded a $10,000 by law enforcement. The bank warned if he accepts the reward he should resign. The man resigned.
Steven Gomez is currently studying at Rutgers University and is majoring business and finance. He worked part time as a teller in Bank of America. Thanks to his efforts during one of the workdays at Bank of America, he helped the police catch the “Hat Bandit” James Madison, a serial bank thief, who had a string of 19 bank robberies over the past 10 months.
The thief used to wear an odd looking hat and disguised himself from the cameras; the police had no leads about this mysterious man until July 22, when he walked into the branch where Gomez worked.
When Madison demanded $3,000 from Gomez, he was able to get the money easily from Gomez, but Gomez trailed Madison to the parking lot and noted down the license number of Madison’s car. Thanks to Gomez’s efforts, the police quickly caught Madison and arrested him.
The law enforcement had earlier announced that they will give a reward of $10,000 to whoever helps catch this “Hat Bandit” and as promised they wanted to give the money to Gomez. His boss at Bank of America instead of praising and rewarding him told Gomez that if he accepts the reward he has to forfeit the job. The Bank of America has a policy that they will fire any of their employees if they accept money from the public.
Gomez instead of continuing to work at the bank decided to leave the bank and said he resigned voluntarily rather than being fired for accepting the reward.
Madison, 50, has since confessed to 19 robberies in which he robbed close to $80,000. Madison has pleaded guilty in federal court in September and is awaiting sentencing. Madison is also a paroled killer.
Contributing to Gomez' reward were Union County Crimestoppers ($1,000), Morris County Crimestoppers ($1,000), Essex County Crimestoppers ($1,000), Commerce Bank ($2,000) and the FBI ($5,000).
If the bank has problems in accepting this reward from law enforcement, they could have easily rewarded that money to Gomez. Instead, they are operating by the book without even having a heart to praise the guy. I am sure Gomez will get great bank offers from other banks after he graduates from Rutgers University.
More about Bank america, Teller, Fired