Arrest In Bank Robbery Garners Burglary Confession

November 15, 2006 - Posted at 5:11 p.m. CST

POPLAR BLUFF, MO -- A Region 8 man faces a multitude of charges after allegedly robbing the Commerce Bank on Highway 67 in Poplar Bluff.  But authorities say they got much more than they bargained for when they arrested the suspect.

John Franklin Rogers, Jr., 21, was arrested Tuesday afternoon for allegedly robbing the Commerce Bank in Poplar Bluff.  But his confession brought much more.

Police say between November 8th, 9th and 10th, Rogers burglarized several homes on Highways "O" and "W" in Butler County.

"One burglary a lady came home to.  She interrupted the burglary and she was then held at gun point and that is still under investigation. He did confess to that also," said Butler County Sheriff Department Investigator Jim Acres.

Authorities seized the clothing Rogers wore during the alleged robbery, as well as the revolver he is suspected of using.  Police also have the 1997 Ford Contour Rogers used as the getaway car in evidence.

The Butler County Sheriff's Office, the Poplar Bluff Police Department and the FBI worked 35 continuous hours on the case, but it was Rogers who provided the payoff.

Police officials say Rogers intended to rob the Poplar Bluff Federal Credit Union on Katy Lane originally, but backed out at the last moment.  Authorities were able to identify him through a captured video image, giving them a much needed break in this case.

"One of the first things that our police department did within the first 15 minutes the robbery came in, our staff was calling every other banking facility in Poplar Bluff for two things," said PBPD Assistant Police Chief Gary Pride, "One, to warn them that we had an indecent and to be on alert about it and two, has anything suspicious happened at your facility this morning since you've opened?"

Fortunately no one was injured in the robberies and police plan to return the stolen items.

"There are a lot of different things that can solve cases.  This case however was not resolved with forensics or high tech equipment, this case was solved with teamwork and experienced law enforcement officers who worked together for a common goal," said Pride.

Rogers faces charges of first-degree armed robbery and armed criminal action.