3/01/2007

"Barbie Bandits" Caught

Obviously, the Barbie Bandits didn't watch the movie closely enough and missed the part where you're supposed to dress up as a Betty Doll when you rob a bank.

Described in blogs across the country as the "hot chick bank robbers", the two girls who robbed an Atlanta area Bank of America were caught today.

Frankly, I'm surprised it took this long. The girls didn't disguise themselves very well. In fact, they both had their hair pulled back from their faces, making them that much more recognizable.

They made national news when their photos were beamed all over the free world, showcasing their smiling faces and suburban chic sunglasses.

So who are the Barbie Bandits? And why did they rob a Cobb County bank?

Well, as many people suspected, the robbery was staged. The 19-year old girls are smiling in the photos because they're handing the supposed 'robbery note' to their friend, who was working behind the counter.

Police point out that the girls were easily identified, thanks to their lack of a disguise, and that they and two B of A employees have been arrested and charged with theft.

Honestly, this has to be one of the stupidest "crimes" in recent memory.

The police released this to the media:

MARCH 1--Police tonight arrested two young women, a bank teller, and a fourth accomplice in connection with Tuesday's robbery of a Bank of America branch in Acworth, Georgia. The inside job was allegedly pulled off by Ashley Nicole Miller and Heather Johnston, both 19, with the assistance of bank employee Benny Herman Allen, 22, and Michael Chastang, 27. While the incident appeared to be a bank robbery, cops now consider it a felony theft and have charged the quartet accordingly. Miller and Johnson were captured by a bank surveillance camera as they stood smiling at a counter after handing a teller a note demanding money. The women (both of whom live in neighboring Fulton County) and their male cohorts were arrested less than two days after Cobb County Police Department officials circulated the below surveillance photos showing the women wearing disguises consisting solely of oversized sunglasses (the kind favored by Hollywood starlets). The group was apprehended with the aid of tips that poured into police from citizens who saw the bank camera photos. They are currently being booked into the Cobb County jail.

8 comments:

Georgia Kennedy said...

I went to high school with Ashley Miller. She as an upper-class suburban girl and got tied up in the wrong crowd. I even cheered with her in middle school. I spent the night with her countless nights and would consider her one of my good firends from high school. She was a reall ynice person and ended up being kicked out of her dad's house after he parents got divorced. She had no where to go, started stripping and turned to crime to solve her problems.

Aspeth said...

Thanks for writing, Georgia. It's got to be awful to be on the sidelines while someone you know goes further and further into a downward spiral.

Did you recognize Ashley in the surveillance pictures, or did you find out about all of this afterward?

Anonymous said...

It is so easy to judge these teens. Yes they made mistake. A huge mistake. I pray for them and their families and I wonder how would we feel if our dirty laundry was posted all over the world? Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. I hope they learn from this huge mistake and make something out themselves.

Anonymous said...

I think if these adults (because they are 19 and consenting adults) had been black or latino males, or males at all really, even if they looked like GQ models, doing the same crime (in the same stupid way) the book would be thrown at their foreheads so hard it'd leave a dent. It wasn't mentioned in the article, did they have weapons? Or did they just walk up and ask for money (makes the crime all the stupider)?

Aspeth said...

Anon 9:25...I'm inclined to agree with you that, as two young white women, they've been treated with a greater degree of fairness than if they were young male minorities.

However, they did conspire with two other young men, but there are few reports on them.

They did not brandish weapons. One of their co-conspirators was an employee of the bank in question, so they slipped him a 'robbery' note and he handed over the money.

Since it was an inside job, the robbery charges have been downgraded.

While I appreciate other readers' perspective that these are two suburban girls who made a "bad decision," I think that bank robbery is far and above even the worst growing pains. I don't understand the desire to either downplay or justify such actions.

Anonymous said...

Since when would a news release from the police to the media use language like "cops now consider it..."?

Aspeth said...

@Anon 2:32...I guess you're just going to have to take that up with either the Smoking Gun or the PR people at the Atlanta PD.

Anonymous said...

This is for Georgia...so what if her dad kicked her out of the house after the divorce! My mom and dad are divorced, but I didn't go and rob a freakin bank!!! I went and got a job...she is a young, able bodied girl....she can get a job if she needs money!!!!!!!