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Fired BoA Originator Robs Bank

Richard Walton robs branch on day of termination

February 3, 2005

By PATRICK CROWLEY


There are bad days at work, and then there is the case of Oregon mortgage originator Richard Herald Walton.

Maybe Walton thought he would get back at the Bank of America for firing him, because on the same day he was let go -- Walton allegedly robbed a BoA branch for nearly $90,000.

Authorities found out Walton, 43, had been fired by BoA after a flyer with his picture, which had been snapped by the bank's surveillance cameras, has been distributed to law enforcement and other banks.

In an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Portland, FBI Agent Dario Duarte said he received several phone calls after the flyer was distributed.

"One of the phone calls was from...Walton's supervisor and advised that Walton was terminated the morning of Jan. 26," Duarte said in the affidavit.

At least one other employee and three people who know Walton also called the FBI to identify him.

A few days later, police pulled Walton over while he was driving, arrested him and charged him with a single count of bank robbery.

Walton did not work at the bank branch he allegedly robbed. The reason for his firing is unclear; bank officials could not be reached to comment.

Walton may have robbed the bank the day he was fired, but he had apparently been casing the place for some time.

According to Duarte's affidavit, Walton allegedly visited the bank at least three times before pulling off the heist.

The first time he came in, Jan. 20, he inquired about, what else, a mortgage loan, Duarte said.

He reportedly came back four days later and tried to "set an appointment at a time near close of business," Duarte said.

He was told to come back at a later date.

The man matching Walton's description showed up the next day after the close of business. The branch manager talked to him through locked doors, once again telling him to come back during regular business hours.

Then on Jan. 26, just before the bank was going to close, he showed up again, Duarte said. When asked if he needed help, the man said he was waiting on someone.

"When the remaining customers exited the bank, the man told the bank tellers that he was robbing the bank," Duarte said. "The employees did not take him seriously because he has been in (the bank) numerous times.

"The man told them he was serious and displayed a handgun tucked into his waistband," he said. "He took money from one of the teller's drawers and the bank vault."

The man, who the FBI has identified as Walton, fled the bank with $87,600 cash.

The robber was probably easy to remember: According to Duarte's affidavit, he was wearing "a dark colored jacket with lighter colored collar, yellow shirt with solid green tie, dark colored slacks and dark colored wing tip shoes."

Maybe those colors weren't the best to wear for someone who wouldn't want to stand out and be easy to describe.


Patrick Crowley is a political reporter and columnist and former business writer for The Cincinnati Enquirer. Email Patrick at: [email protected]

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