In the early hours on Friday, November 20, 2009, Blanco County Corporal Bob Morgan was in route to Cattleman’s National Bank Round Mountain location to look into a duress alarm that had been set off. He called for assistance from the Johnson City Police Department and Chief of Police Randy Holland responded.
Both officers arrived at the bank and Corporal Morgan exited his vehicle with his shotgun and approached the bank, only to quickly retreat, letting Holland know that there were suspects inside. Morgan instructed Holland to go around to the back of the bank. When Holland, in his car, went around to the back of the bank, he came across two Hispanic suspects wearing black hooded clothing and one white male hostage. The hostage was later identified as bank employee, George Schuh, Controller and Cashier for Cattlemans’ National Bank.
One of the suspects pointed a revolver at Chief Holland. The suspects took off running and dragging the hostage towards their vehicle and Holland maneuvered his car to try and block them in. This is when one of the suspects pointed the gun at the hostage and Holland exited his vehicle with his shotgun aimed at the suspects. They then released the hostage and took off for the corrals behind the bank. Holland then proceeded to check on Mr. Schuh, who had not been injured, just shook up. Holland placed him in the patrol car and called for an ambulance. Holland went and retrieved the keys out of the suspects’ vehicle and caught sight of the suspects climbing the far north corral fence and disappearing into the woods.
It did not take long for all the surrounding area agencies to arrive on the scene. Supporting agencies included: Marble Falls Police, Granite Shoals Police, Blanco Police Department, Burnet County Sheriff’s Office, Llano County Sheriff’s Office, Horseshoe Bay Police Department, Blanco County Dispatchers, Texas State Troopers, Texas Rangers, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Texas Department of Corrections, JC Volunteer Fire Department, Round Mountain Volunteer Fire Department, and North Blanco County EMS.
The Burnet County Sheriff’s Office set up a mobile command center inside the convenience store. Texas Department of Public Safety provided a helicopter and Texas Department of Corrections provided hound dogs and horses for the search party. A five-mile perimeter was quickly established to cut off any escape. The countryside was thoroughly searched by patrol vehicles, officers on horseback, dog teams, and DPS helicopter.
Unsure if there were more suspects inside the bank, officers stayed clear until a thermal imagining was done of the building. Officers entered and called for the search dog to do a clean sweep of the inside of the bank. No other suspects were found inside the building, but two or possibly more were on the loose.
Three hours after the suspects had taken off on foot, Texas Ranger Cody Mitchell was processing the suspect vehicle and opened the trunk to find one of the suspects hiding there. The suspect was transported to the Blanco County Jail.
The search continued through most of the night; however, by morning the search was called off.
On Saturday morning, November 21, Blanco County Sergeant Investigator Bob Shelton and Corporal Bob Morgan responded to a residence in Round Mountain in reference to the bank robbery suspects. According to homeowner Susie Birck, she awoke Saturday morning, after her husband George had already gone for the day, and found the bathroom window open and the screen missing. Upon further searching, she noticed the attic access panel had been moved to one side. She then contacted police. The suspects had stayed the night in their attic, changed clothes, and left the bank keys. The suspects had to have left the property sometime in the hour span from when George had left for work and when Susie awakened. Dogs had led police officers to the home the day before, but officers were unsure of it being the suspect(s) or the homeowner that the dogs had tracked, since homeowner George Birck had been to the bank to offer his assistance in the search. Mrs. Birck stated that they considered themselves very lucky and she was glad that she had not encountered the individuals.
Later the same day, a concerned citizen called in that there were two Hispanic males crossing his property and heading east along the Pedernales River towards Highway 281. Deputy Curtis Klimple and officers Shelton and Holland responded to the call just north of the river bridge.
Scott Adkins, owner of the warehouse located north of the river bridge on Highway 281, stated that he and a group of guys were outside working when two Hispanic men approached asking for food and said they had not eaten for three days. They asked for a ride to San Antonio and offered to pay them one hundred dollars. Adkins thought that this was strange to offer one hundred dollars after just stating they had not eaten for several days. He was headed to call the police when he noticed three patrol cars crossing the bridge. The two guys saw them coming, but still remained calm. Adkins flagged the officers down and told the police that there were two men at his shop eating. The police officers approached the men, talked to them, and searched them.
Klimple arrived first and detained the two Hispanic males. Holland identified the two as the same suspects who fled the scene at the bank. A search of the suspects turned up the gun used to detain the hostage.
“Police were awesome and did everything by the book,” stated Scott Adkins.
Two of the three bank robbery suspects are Mexican Nationals and the other claims to be from Honduras and have immigration holds as well as felony criminal charges against them. They are also suspects in the robbery of Security State Bank and Trust in Blanco that occurred on October 21. Police are also investigating a connection between the suspects and a string of robberies in San Antonio.
Cattleman’s National Bank officers, directors, and employees express their appreciation and gratitude for all responding law enforcement.