UPDATE: Alleged 'Loan Ranger Bandit' served time for prior bank - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

UPDATE: Alleged 'Loan Ranger Bandit' served time for prior bank robberies

Richard Swicegood Richard Swicegood
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New details are emerging about the man investigators have dubbed the 'Loan Ranger Bandit.' Alleged serial bank robber Richard Swicegood was finally caught this week after five years on the run.

He's accused of robbing 20 different financial institutions, including a bank and credit union in Tyler. But now we're learning this isn't the first time he's been arrested for bank robbery.

According to federal court documents, Swicegood actually served more than six years in prison for 13 counts of bank robbery, followed by three years of parole.

It was during the time he was out on parole, court records say, that Swicegood began his next robbery spree.

Federal court documents obtained by CBS19 show Swicegood actually started robbing banks well before 2009, when this latest wave of robberies started.

Tyler's Altra Federal Credit Union on Troup Highway was hit in 2011, and the Compass Bank on Broadway in 2012.

"It's kind of like you have all the pieces starting to come together that you have all these questions about as an investigator," Public Information Officer Don Martin, with the Tyler Police Department, said.

Swicegood's rap sheet spans 14 years.

In 2001, he pleaded guilty and was convicted of 13 counts of bank robbery for crimes he committed in the Dallas-Fort Worth area from May of 2000 to July of 2001.

The following year he was sentenced, and spent more than six years in a Seagoville, Texas, prison before being released on parole in 2007

But seven months after he was released, Swicegood violated his parole after failing a court-ordered drug test. And the following year, in 2008, he failed two more -- testing positive for marijuana each time.

He was ordered to complete a drug dependency program, but, according to court records, he never showed up.

He was finally arrested in November of 2009 at DFW, getting off a plane from London.

It's unclear how or when Swicegood ended up being released, but he wasn't seen by authorities again until this week -- when he was arrested in Arkansas after an alleged five-year nationwide bank robbery spree.

During that time, authorities say he grew out his hair and began sporting a mustache, but never tried to hide his face while robbing even more banks in Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi and Kentucky.

But the question remains, how did no one recognize him in this latest wave of robberies -- with his photo splashed all over television and social media?He was even on "America's Most Wanted."

"Being that he was so close to the Dallas area, and so many people you'd think would know him, or at least say, 'Well, I think I know that guy. His face is so familiar.' We just never really got many tips, or much at all," Martin said.

And after several parole violations, why was Swicegood walking the streets in the first place?

That, of course, is the million-dollar question, and something the FBI says it's looking into.

Agents are still investigating, and say more charges are likely.

Right now, Swicegood is charged with 11 counts of aggravated robbery, three counts of theft and one count of unauthorized use of another person's property to facilitate a crime.

He's being held at the Saline County Jail in Benton, Arkansas on a $500,000 bond.


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