Crime

Convicted serial bank robber recently released from prison robs 4 Dallas banks, feds say

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A man who spent nearly 30 years incarcerated for a string of armed bank robberies is back in jail after police say he robbed several Dallas banks at gunpoint.

Kenneth Irvin Counce is accused of going into the BBVA Compass Bank, at 11705 Preston Road, on Feb. 15 and pointing a handgun at a teller. He told her to put money in a bag. When he noticed that the teller placed a dye pack in the bag, Counce said, “Do you want me to shoot you?” according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.

Counce then approached a second teller and said, “Give me your money or I’ll shoot,” according to the document.

He then went back to the first teller and demanded money from the drive-through windows. As Counce left the bank, a witness took a video on his phone of Counce getting into a Mercedes C-class sedan.

Police immediately believed the robbery was related to two similar robberies that happened on Sept. 18 and Oct. 19 that involved a man who stuffed cotton in his nose and mouth and pointed a handgun.

Investigators compared surveillance footage of the cars from the robberies and traced it back to Counce, according to the document.

Counce was charged with three counts of armed bank robbery in California for robberies that happened in 1989 and 1990. He was sentenced to nearly 24 years in federal prison. In 2010, after finishing his federal sentence, he was transferred to the Dallas County Jail and then the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, where he served about seven more years to complete a 35-year sentence that he received in Dallas County for an aggravated robbery warrant that was issued in 1988.

He was released from prison in 2017 and was paroled until 2027.

A federal search warrant was obtained by investigators on March 25 to put a tracking device on Counce’s car. They tailed him until April 20, when Counce went inside a BB&T Bank in Dallas. After he entered the bank, investigators saw two people run out of the building. Counce left the bank, got into his car and was arrested by Dallas SWAT in the 8600 block of North Central Expressway, according to the document.

The bank manager told investigators that Counce had cotton stuffed in his nose and his cheeks were really round.

Police found a pellet gun in Counce’s car, according to the document.

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