A Kansas City, Kan., brother and sister learned this week that no matter how carefully a bank robbery is planned, everything can unravel when the unexpected occurs.
Virginia Lynn Spencer, 29, and Charles Ralph Spencer, 25, pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to stealing $11,883 from an Excelsior Springs bank. After the robbery, they led a high-speed chase and crashed their vehicle.
Before the robbery on May 23, the Spencers scouted Missouri banks in Polo, Braymer and Richmond before settling on the Bank Midwest branch at 201 N. Jesse James Road.
They even purchased disguises at an Independence Kmart, including shirts, sunglasses, gloves and hair dye.
During the robbery, Charles Spencer waved a .32-caliber revolver around the bank with his finger on the trigger. Virginia Spencer concluded the heist with a cheery “Have a nice day” as the two ran to a car driven by an associate.
The robbery began to fall apart as they pulled away. A mom with three kids in her vehicle had just used the ATM, and the robbers’ getaway vehicle barely missed hers as it sped away.
The mom called 911 and reported the car’s direction. Clay County deputies soon were on the case.
After a chase that reached speeds of 90 mph, the robbers crashed into a tree in Liberty, sending the Spencers to the hospital. Authorities recovered the handgun, which Charles Spencer had pitched during the chase.
The Spencers face a minimum of five years in prison. The getaway driver, Steven Dale Robinson, 23, pleaded guilty to his role in the robbery in November.