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Suspect in North Kansas City bank robbery allegedly wanted money for heroin

Updated: 2013-06-14T01:09:59Z

A man who allegedly told relatives he was going to rob a bank did just that this week in North Kansas City, according to federal prosecutors.

James A. Yokum, 43, was charged with Tuesday’s robbery of First Federal Bank at 1200 Armour Road.

According to court records, Yokum had come to Kansas City from St. Louis to stay at his half brother’s house while rehabilitating from a heroin addiction. The two argued in front of their mother Tuesday. After Yokum’s half brother demanded that Yokum go back to St. Louis, Yokum allegedly said, “You’re gonna see me on the news tonight — I’m going to rob a bank.”

Later, his half brother saw police cars at a nearby bank and told investigators about Yokum’s threat. He also told them Yokum had participated in a group that robbed a series of Kansas City credit unions in 2002. The group got away with $4 million.

Arrested along Interstate 70 near Columbia, Yokum allegedly told Highway Patrol troopers that he robbed the bank to “get as much heroin as he could, overdose and kill himself.”

A sergeant found the majority of the bank’s money — $600 — in Yokum’s shorts, according to court records.

| Tony Rizzo, trizzo@kcstar.com

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