The arise and tumble of a Bombshell Bandit
April 28, 2015 - accent chair
For dual months final summer an surprising bank pirate shocked, confounded and perplexed a US. She was a woman, she was short, immature and well-dressed, and she hold adult a fibre of banks in discerning succession. The Bombshell Bandit told Jeff Maysh her story.
Sandeep Kaur pulled on a wig and practiced her engineer sunglasses in her rear-view mirror. Jun 6, 2014 was a typically balmy afternoon in California’s Santa Clarita Valley and a still one, solely for a screams of passengers on a circuitously drum coaster. Thirty-eight miles northwest of Los Angeles, a First Bank sits in a village of Spanish-style shops usually off Magic Mountain Parkway. The bustling highway leads to Six Flags, a thesis park billed as a Thrill Capital of a World.
Kaur, 24, had been regulating her iPhone to investigate bank robberies. It was clearly a high-stakes pursuit. Some robbers transient with fortunes, while others were restrained or even killed by police. She non-stop a automobile doorway and stepped out into a mid-afternoon heat. At usually 5 feet 3 inches tall, a slim Indian helper did not exaggerate a flesh of standard bank robbers. She had no arms or getaway driver. Instead she gripped a hurriedly total note that read:
TICK TOCK. we HAVE A BOMB.
If Kaur didn’t demeanour like a criminal, she positively didn’t fit a form of a bank-robbing desperado. Kaur and her family are clinging Sikhs, a sacrament that steers supporters divided from a greedy bureau of wealth. A supernatural student, she graduated from nursing college several years early, while still a teenager. She had 3 jobs, tirelessly caring for aged cancer sufferers, for patients during a Sacramento hospital, and ironically, for inmates during a jail. But as she walked towards a bank, she prepared to do a inconceivable and join their series as a aroused criminal.
At 2.30 pm, Kaur arrived before a bank’s faux-Roman pillars. White lettering on a potion doors read: “Please mislay hats and sunglasses before entering.” Her thoughtfulness looked like she competence be going to a dress jubilee as Vogue editor Anna Wintour. Inside, a greeter jumped out and said: “Hey, how can we assistance you?” This technique is called SafeCatch, and it’s taught by a FBI to put intensity robbers off their stride. Kaur panicked, and fled.
Back in her car, Kaur sipped a bottle of H2O she had stolen from a circuitously grocery store. Across a block of terracotta-coloured businesses, she speckled a heading of a Bank of a West, a bear walking on all fours – like a bear on a Californian flag, ostensible to have been modelled on a grizzly restrained in 1889 during a insistence of journal lord William Randolph Hearst. Kaur pulled open a immature doors, her heart racing as she felt a icy blast of conditioned air. A pressed fondle bear stared down from a shelf. She approached a cashier, and told herself: “I usually have to do this. It’s this or nothing.” She slid a note over a counter.
Bank robbers are apropos an archaic species. The arise of electronic payments is formulating a cashless society, and given 2003, bank robberies have depressed 47%. The crime is also an overwhelmingly masculine activity. According to a latest FBI figures, usually 8% of America’s 4,347 bank robberies final year were committed by a woman. “Traditionally women have been concerned in bank robberies usually as getaway drivers, or accomplices to masculine robbers,” says Dr Richard Schmitt, a US rapist clergyman who has evaluated some-more than 50 bank robbers. Schmitt says that a pirate who is an prepared veteran female, and a Sikh, is, “a rarely surprising case… in a story of a United States we will not find another bank pirate with this profile.”
When Sandeep Kaur ran from a Bank of a West in Valencia, she had risked her life and autocracy for tiny some-more than $21,200. Yet she afterwards embarked on a one-woman, five-week crime spree, robbing banks in Arizona, California, and Utah. Inspired by Kaur’s explosve threats and glamorous disguises, a FBI named her “the Bombshell Bandit”, and appealed for assistance from a public. The business prides itself on a informed pirate nicknames, like a “Bad Rug Bandit,” “Attila a Bun,” and “The Boom Boom Bandit,” (his note read, “No drama, no bang boom.”) A good nickname creates prominence and gets people talking, says a FBI’s Laura Eimiller. And with a Bombshell Bandit, she says, “The press usually ran with it.”
Last summer we watched a Bombshell Bandit story reveal like a uncanny crime drama, never certain when a subsequent part would air. It was a philharmonic that culminated in Kaur’s detain on 31 Jul 2014, after a unfortunate military pursuit. The 65-mile follow crossed 3 states and dual time zones, reaching speeds of 130mph. Finally unmasked in a press, Kaur total headlines conflicting a United States, and in her internal India. Reporters besieged a Kaur family seeking since an prepared immature lady would spin to bank robbery. But nobody in a tight-knit Indian village would talk.
Then on 28 Jan 2015, she responded to my letter, seeking for answers. Her profession wrote: “Ms Kaur would like to accommodate with you.”
Sandeep Kaur, now 25, rests her skinny hands on a list in a visiting room of a Iron County Jail in Cedar City, Utah. A restrained has etched a word “BONES” into a wood. “My mom is still underneath a misinterpretation that people don’t know about it,” she says, in a disarming Indian-American accent. Her olive-coloured jail uniform catches a inundate of tears. “People ask about me, and she says, she’s working,” Kaur says, shouting and pathetic during once. “She wanted to die out of a embarrassment.” Over a subsequent 4 hours, Kaur will tell a comfortless story that a sovereign decider will after call “complex”, before describing a helper as “one of a rapist minds that a justice does not understand”.
Her story starts in Punjab, north-west of Delhi on a Pakistan border. It is one of a smallest yet many moneyed states of India. Sandeep Kaur was innate on 11 Nov 1989, in Chandigarh – India’s initial designed city, infrequently called “the city beautiful”. She says her name means a “first ray of sunlight”. Aged seven, she changed with her mom and brother, Jatinder, to join her father in America. They arrived in San Jose, California, as a area’s Indian race was exploding. But for as prolonged as she can remember, Kaur says she felt like an outsider.
“My mom would go to a store and if a guys’ garments were on sale, she got all of us a same thing. My tiny hermit would be wearing Pocahontas sandals. She didn’t understand.” The children were bullied relentlessly and after a 9/11 attacks in 2001, secular tensions developed. “I was called a militant during school. They were like, ‘Did your Dad do this?'” Kaur and her hermit skipped propagandize to shun their tormentors, yet were dangling and sent divided to a boarding propagandize in a Eastern Himalayas, as punishment.
Back in America, Kaur says her relatives criminialized mobile phones, television, and friends, isolating a children. “We would have to mount there with a chair adult in a hands for like an hour until a arms hurt,” she recalls. “That was how [we] were raised, we knew not to go tell a school, we were beaten with a stick. This is how parenting is.”
Kaur’s closest confidante became her cousin, Amundeep Kaur, 27, whom we interviewed during length on a telephone. Their mothers are sisters, and yet Kaur was dual years younger, she played a purpose of comparison sister. Amundeep admits she was a naughtier of a pair. She sneaked Kaur to a movies, and in return, Kaur lonesome for her cousin’s unlawful teenaged romances. She favourite to fun that difficulty was Amundeep’s center name, as in, “I’m-in-deep trouble”.
When her mom fell ill and went into hospital, a 14-year-old Kaur was desirous by a accessible nursing manager to take adult nursing. “She even gave me some nursing textbooks,” Kaur says. Galvanised, she graduated from high propagandize early, starting college during a conspicuous age of 15. By 19 she was a Licensed Vocational Nurse, fervent to shun a family home she describes as “a prison”. Quickly, Kaur warranted adult to $6,000 a month, operative for a health caring agency, nursing a terminally ill businessman, and back-to-back shifts during several Bay area hospitals. “She lived with her mom, so she had no bills, she had a unequivocally used, beat-up car… her income was post up,” says Amundeep.
It was 2008, and a American economy crashed. Kaur says she started investing in a batch market. “I was unequivocally into it. we put all a income we had saved up, and [some] from my parents… a bonds [were] unequivocally low, these are a biggest banks of America there are. It can’t get any reduce than this, Bank of America was during dual dollars fifty-three cents.” It is a subject we was not awaiting from this jail visit. Kaur gambled on America, and won. “I invested in a word banks, AIG and Prudential,” she says. “I finished adult creation $200,000.”
Then, like any college-aged American lady she started to suffer parties, boys, and all banned by her parents. She wore jubilee dresses underneath her sanatorium scrubs, to dope her mother, and began heading a double life. Aged 20, Kaur left home and changed to Sacramento, where she complicated for her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. “I even worked at… Sacramento County Jail. [Taking inmates’] blood pressure, giving them pills… a diabetic inmates, removing their blood sugars.” With a peek during her stream surroundings, she says: “It’s kind of uncanny now I’m on a other side.”
Kaur says her 21st birthday in Nov 2010 was a bend point. This is a authorised jubilee age in a US and her cousin designed a jubilee holiday. The girls lied to their mothers and fled to Sacramento airfield – yet before Kaur told a story, we had already guessed where they went. Back when a Bombshell Bandit was a refugee on a run, we plotted her bank robberies on a map, and beheld how her heists circumnavigated America’s city of sin.
Like a squadron of lead icebergs, a Crystals selling mall towers above a commemoration shops on Las Vegas Boulevard like a hulk geometric puzzle. It claims to be a world’s largest collection of engineer conform stores underneath one roof, braggadocio a Balenciaga, Christian Dior, and a Jimmy Choo. To Kaur, it was a sell sky full of daring, Western styles that would boil her mother’s blood. Inside a Gucci store, a engineer garments seemed to renovate her.
“It was my favourite brand, it had a character we liked. Louis Vuitton was too flashy… Gucci is some-more perpetually lasting.” She says a girls bought “killer outfits” – heels and brief dresses they had never been authorised to wear. The cousins click-clacked towards a casinos and clubs in their costly new shoes. Kaur had found freedom.
“I gambled. we won a integrate of thousand and it was flattering fun. we played blackjack and we kept winning,” she says. “Everyone else during a list was removing mad.” With a dizzying strain of beginner’s luck, Kaur says she won $4,000, and was “instantly hooked”. That initial outing became two, afterwards three, and shortly she was drifting to Vegas monthly, accompanied by her hermit and a revolving expel of friends. “After a few trips, they started comp-ing everything,” says Kaur, of a giveaway hotel bedrooms and perks. Then she detected baccarat, and unexpected zero else in a universe mattered. “I can travel past roulette,” she says. “But if we even see baccarat, my heart leaps.”
For decades, a diversion of baccarat was played privately, in intemperate high-roller pits for a delight of millionaires, and James Bond in a movies. In this elementary label game, players play on that of dual hands will supplement adult closest to nine. “Baccarat is not beatable… it’s a lottery,” says US gambling publisher Michael Kaplan. “When we see these people essay down a swell of a game… it’s idiotic.” Kaur played a on-going game, doubling her play after any detriment to acquire her income back. It is this form of assertive play that has seen baccarat income in Nevada triple given 2002. Today it earns $1.4bn a year, some-more than blackjack, craps, and poker combined. “When we gambled it was like an shun from everything,” Kaur says. “The vigour from my mom to do this and that, she wanted me to buy a house… we would go there for an escape.”
Inside Kaur’s penthouse apartment during a Bellagio hotel and casino, RnB song throbbed from a neat Bose stereo. The two-bedroom, five-bathroom oppulance apartment became a private club, strewn with bottles of Petron tequila, Don Julio, and Hennessy. Downstairs, she played behind a frosted windows of a Baccarat Bar, a ballroom-style gaming loll with chandeliers a distance of a family car. Kaur had grown a repute as a intrepid yet advantageous gambler: She was famous to play until she had chips value $10,000, before spending it all in a engineer stores.
“I had a debility for engineer sunglasses,” she admits. “I would initial go and see how many a pricing is… afterwards we would go make a play for that same amount. If we win, I’ll go buy it, if not afterwards I’m not meant to have it.” The casino treated her like royalty, and she played subsequent to unfamiliar dignitaries and celebrities. Kaur says she motionless to get a credit line during a casino. “So that approach we don’t have to pierce a income there.”
“A pen is a imagination word for a cheque,” explains casino super-host Steve Cyr, 51. “If a coupon bounces in Nevada, it’s a rapist offence.” Yet Kaur still kept to a despotic lunch bill of $15, and enjoyed her winnings. Soon, a casino concluded to lift her pen to $20,000, and her bets increased.
Kaur was on a roll. She was creation income roughly out of skinny air, and had gained entrance to a middle sanctum of a charming nightlife of Las Vegas. But afterwards things started to go wrong.
A year after her initial gamble, in Nov 2011, Kaur confided to Amundeep that she had mislaid $60,000. She pronounced she had mislaid it on a batch marketplace yet her hermit suggested a truth. “She gambled it all in like 3 hands on a table, we saw her,” he told his cousin. After that, Amundeep says, “I knew she had a problem.”
Kaur says she quit nursing and left her studies during Sacramento State to combine on gambling. “I stopped working. we can’t concentration and be going to work for this tiny volume of money,” she says. She connected some-more and some-more income from her investment account. “It started off during like $250,000,” she says. And all of it dripped away. In late Mar 2012 she was seen walking a casino building in a daze. Outside a Baccarat Bar, she walked past a banks of container machines like “The Jewel of India”, and “Bollywood Babes”, as their conflicting sirens sounded an inner alarm: her life assets were left – and she was in debt to a casino.
That was when a foreigner approached, Kaur says. The male had watched her gambling from afar, and was tender with her talent. She says he told her: “I can get we some money.” The man, she says, was not a member of casino staff, usually one of a game’s many hangers-on. “I’ve seen we win before, we can win your income back,” he told her. Kaur says he led her outward and introduced her to some-more men. “I told them we need $20,000. He said, ‘I can get that for you.’ we wanted to win… we got sucked into it. They were unequivocally vast guys, yet during a time we suspicion we could compensate it back. They pronounced it would be a high seductiveness rate… and we agreed.” Kaur describes a group as, “a Mexican guy, and a other male was like a brew maybe… Puerto Rican, he had braids.” She gave them her details, and in a casino’s parking garage they handed her a cash. “OK I’ll compensate we back, it’ll substantially be a integrate of hours,” she said. Then she marched behind by a casino’s monogrammed doors, prepared to win.
The heels and costly dress were gone. Kaur wore a persperate suit, as she played to compensate off her debt to a Bellagio and a loan sharks. She says she indispensable $45,000. “I ate during that table. we usually took lavatory breaks… we was sitting during a list for 16 hours.” But a cards were cruel, and her chips fast depleted. The horde speedy her to try a propitious drink, maybe a Louis XIII cognac, or an costly cigar, that she accepted. “I’m sitting there…hoping it’ll all change,” she recalls. Puffing on a cigar in her sportswear, Kaur cut an doubtful figure in a mahogany-panelled Baccarat Bar, with a complicated art and outlandish flowers, yet shortly her raise of chips began to grow. “At one indicate we had $38,000,” she says – usually a few thousand dollars from safety. In a few some-more hands, she competence be adult – maybe she’d even win adequate for a selling spree?
“Then it all usually went down a drain,” she says of a final few hands that wiped her out. “I can’t trust that I’ve finished this,” she told herself. Then Kaur says she fled Las Vegas and her creditors, vowing to give adult gambling. In May 2012, she changed with her mom to Union City, California, for a new residence and new start, always with one eye out for her creditors. Kaur maxed out her credit cards to compensate a deposition for a family home, and to cover for her losses, told her mom she bought a residence outright. She worked 96-hour weeks as a helper to compensate her tip mortgage. But by 11 Dec 2012, there was a aver for her arrest, for unwell to compensate her casino pen and it wasn’t prolonged before Kaur’s mom detected a truth.
“Indian relatives are unequivocally nosy, they like to demeanour during your bank statements,” Kaur says. “She went ballistic on me. ‘Where is a money? Why did we do this? How bad does this look, we being a girl?'”
There were other secrets in a Kaur household. Kaur says her relatives had divorced, that is surprising in a Indian community. She says her father, who trafficked to and fro to India, still attended family functions and simulated zero had happened. “I usually felt like my whole life I’ve been vital a lie,” she says. “Just an picture for people.” Kaur describes her father as “not involved” in their lives. She says he is “retired” and that “he used to work for companies”. Amundeep tells me he is indeed a cab motorist in Union City.
Kaur says she stayed distant divided from Las Vegas “for a year” to evasion a loan sharks and casino debts, yet Amundeep’s comment is different. She told me that Kaur was “back and brazen to Las Vegas” until Jul 2013, and she even boasted of bend “$1,100 into $25,000”. Whatever a genuine timeline, it is transparent that Kaur did not repay her debts. And during this point, Kaur’s mom began to arrange her marriage.
Potential suitors were invited to a family home, yet Kaur was not impressed. “What male doesn’t have a balls to tell their family they wish to get married on their own?” she says. And anyway, her parents’ possess organised matrimony was a charade. By Sep 2013, Kaur had eloped with a male of her possess choice. When we speak in a jail, she will not plead her husband, other than to say: “I was a restrained in my possess home.” Amundeep tells me that Kaur was given a $1,000-a-week stipend from her husband, yet gambled it in Las Vegas. Her cousin also says that in Jan of 2014, Kaur’s automobile was impounded for delinquent bills, and in April, her matrimony was over. Amundeep says her father stopped profitable her stipend in May. Then Kaur’s mortgage, complicated gambling debts, and web of lies became a ticking time bomb.
Memorial Day, Monday 26 May 2014. Kaur says she beheld a puzzling black automobile following her car, during a outing to revisit friends in Freemont, California. “I suspicion my father had hired someone to follow me,” she says. When she paid for gas, she says she returned to find dual bizarre group sitting in her car.
“Oh, you’re in a wrong car,” she told them.
“We need to speak to you. You’re Sandeep,” she recalls one of them saying. “You owe us $25,000 yet that’s not enough, we need more.”
Kaur says these were not a group who had loaned her a cash. It is not surprising for ostensible “bad debt” to be bought for pennies on a dollar, by unethical collectors. we asked who they were. “One was darker… one male was black. Medium size… they called him by some nickname, we forgot what it was.” Kaur says they demanded $35,000 and that she had dual days to get it. “My family still doesn’t know any of this.”
“They said, ‘Where are we gonna get a income from?'”
Kaur pulled out her phone. “I’m gonna make some phone calls,” she said. “They said, ‘Why don’t we make those phone calls right now.'”
When nobody would lend Kaur money, a group threatened her family, she says. They told her she had a choice – to compensate a money, or work for them. “I didn’t know what operative for them meant. we was meditative some drug stuff, we don’t know, prostitution… They said, ‘You can sack a bank. Go sack a house, do this do that, we need a money.’ They attempted to give me a gun.”
When they suggested bank robbery, Kaur says a suspicion didn’t seem ludicrous. “It’s do or die. If we did this, and anything did occur afterwards during slightest a military would be involved,” she reasons. “Or we know, we could usually kill myself.” But since didn’t she usually tell a police? “Ever given we were kids we had to lie,” she says. From a punishment she suffered during a hands of her parents, to partying, and her parents’ divorce, anything ashamed had to be hidden.
Eleven days later, Kaur transient from her initial bank spoliation in Valencia, on to Magic Mountain Parkway and on to a I-5 turnpike towards Los Angeles. As she tossed divided her wig, a military automobile flew past in a conflicting direction. “I kept looking backwards, thinking, ‘They’re gonna be here now… Or now?… Now?'” But after a six-hour drive, Kaur realised she had got away. She arrived outward a grill circuitously a post during Santa Monica, where she says her creditors were waiting.
“I met them in Santa Monica like we was ostensible to, a day after. we told them what I’d done.” Kaur says she handed them a cash. “They said, ‘This is not enough.'” The group gave her a week to come adult with another $20,000, she says. With a seductiveness augmenting during an outrageous rate, Kaur says she scraped together $5,000. Then she gathering to Las Vegas on 20 June, 2014, to make another payment. But a impulse she arrived, a informed nictitate of fad rose in her stomach. She parked during a Aria casino, a sister hotel of a Bellagio. What if she could spin that $5,000 into a incomparable amount, she thought, and solve her problems forever?
There is zero some-more distilled than a propitious run on baccarat. Her $5,000 became roughly $10,000 in a matter of minutes. The hum was back. Then she felt a palm on her shoulder, maybe a congratulatory friend, she thought. But it was a outrageous confidence guard, who told her: “Can we come with us? You have a aver out for you.” Soon Kaur was staring into a camera during a Clark County Detention Center, on Casino Center Blvd. Her pen had finally hold adult with her. “I thought, a bank spoliation is gonna come behind on me too now… this is it for me,” she says. But luckily for her, they didn’t bond a dots. On 26 June, Amundeep helped find $15,000 bail money, and Kaur was giveaway – yet deeper in debt than ever. And with a “felony” assign on her record, Kaur knew she would not be authorised to work as a helper again.
Soon Kaur was looking during her iPhone again for directions to another bank. “What are a chances of me removing divided with another robbery?” she thought. “Maybe we should usually kill myself, finish it all… no they’d go to my family. we have to do this. we was unequivocally tighten to [suicide]. we kept thinking… pills. But no, there’s a possibility of surviving. But then… if I’m already meditative of finale my life, since not go sack a bank? The debt was augmenting any day. It’s gonna keep going on for life. If we got another $20,000 from this one, I’m done.”
The Lake Havasu City bend of Wells Fargo is 58 miles past a Nevada state line, in Arizona. It was 8 Jul 2014. Sandeep Kaur walked into a bank wearing a skin-tight black dress, a flower-print scarf, her heading sunglasses, and scarcely for bank robbery, open-toe sandals. It was 5.30 pm when she handed a bank worker a note that pronounced she had a explosve and that she wanted $100,000. According to investigators, a note also claimed 5 group were creation her sack a bank, and that she didn’t wish to do it. The assistant handed over a cash, and Kaur sprinted to her car. “I’d parked by [sandwich shop] Jersey Mikes,” she recalls. “There’s people that even saw me using from there. That day we usually got lucky.”
A superb deluge hampered her getaway, she says, forcing drivers to lift over and wait it out. As a sleet crashed opposite her windscreen, she counted a income and was undone to find it amounted to usually underneath $2,000. She incited on a radio, and in a automobile parked subsequent to hers, a male smiled during her. She kindly smiled back. “I’m normal to a rest of a world,” she says. “My mind usually tells me it’s OK.”
The subsequent day, Sgt Troy Stirling of a Lake Havasu City Police Department told a press he was comparing records with other law coercion agencies: “Typically some of these bad guys like to do a same thing in other areas,” he suggested. The net was shutting on a Bombshell Bandit.
The day after that, on 10 July, a Kaur cousins met for dinner. Amundeep was dismayed during her cousin’s weight loss. They mostly dieted together, pity dish skeleton and encouragement. “How do we do it?” she asked, enviously. “She was 150 [pounds]… in a month she had left [to] 115.” Kaur pronounced zero about robbing banks and was clearly broke, Amundeep says. She couldn’t even means to compensate for dinner.
But Kaur was already formulation her third robbery, this time in San Diego. “I looked it adult and there were already so many robberies there that people had gotten divided with. They had this one male called ‘the Geezer’ that had never been hold or anything. The people in San Diego were kinda for it,” she reasons, since “nobody was revelation on him.”
The Geezer Bandit is San Diego’s series one sequence bank robber. Some trust he is a younger male wearing a Hollywood special-effects facade to costume his age. After 11 successful heists, he has never been stopped, and Kaur was throwing adult on him. But was bank spoliation removing easier, now that she was experienced? “Each one’s like… different,” she says. Jul 14 2014 was a Monday, a many renouned day for bank robberies, according to FBI statistics. At approximately 2:50 pm, she hold adult a Comerica Bank in San Diego’s Midway District, her second spoliation in 6 days. Again, she handed a teller a folded square of paper, that demanded income and threatened a bomb. This time her costume was a charming headscarf.
“I got $8,000, and a subsequent day we go see [the creditors] during a same place in Santa Monica,” she says. “I gave them a money, yet it was still not enough… They pronounced ‘You’re using out of time. By 1 August, if we don’t have a money, we are gonna take you. You’re gonna work for us.’ So afterwards we said, ‘OK, I’ll go sack this final bank, and give them this income by a initial of a month, get this over with.’ we motionless on Utah, we guess. we started to feel like they were going to keep augmenting a money. The hole kept removing bigger and bigger.”
The US Bank in St George boasts a drive-thru teller, so few business indeed travel into a branch. Inside, a accessible staff keep bowls of candy during a front desk. At 4.50 pm on 31 Jul 2014, Sandeep Kaur entered a bank with a hoodie pulled over her head. Wearing sunglasses and a surgical mask, a manager’s initial suspicion was that she was a germaphobe. But fast that suspicion incited to, “This is not good.” Kaur upheld a womanlike assistant a note that read: “YOU HAVE TWO MINUTES TO GIVE ME 50K OF CASH OR we WILL SHOOT YOU. THIS IS NOT A JOKE.” She did not have a gun.
The manager watched Kaur run to her automobile carrying a cash, and telephoned 911, with a outline of her china Nissan. The Bombshell Bandit was on a run, bark out of a parking lot during tip speed. Officer Mark Biehl of a St George Police Department was during a circuitously glow hire when a bank spoliation call came in. His Dodge Charger unit automobile roared towards a freeway. “Suspect presumably armed,” pronounced a dispatcher. Biehl staged his automobile during Exit 2 of a freeway, usually as a betrothed china automobile sped past, a motorist too brief to identify. “As shortly as he was following me, we knew,” Kaur says. “It was like, ‘OK. It’s a finish of it.'” But she still didn’t stop.
The military automobile followed her patiently conflicting a state line into Arizona. Then dual white internal military Ford Explorers assimilated a chase, their blue and red lights flashing. The orange dried here turns roughly Martian, as St George disappears, before a highway is swallowed by a vast vermilion rocks of a Virgin River Gorge. The military radios died, and a train of vehicles became fondle cars, lilliputian by a concern of a canyon. “I suspicion about going off a side,” says Kaur. “But we didn’t know if I’d harm others.”
When a bureau raced by a dry city of Mesquite, internal officer Brad Swanson assimilated a chase. Three military departments were on Kaur’s tail now, lights blazing. They sped past a casinos that line a freeway, charity “$10,000 LUCKIEST SLOTS IN TOWN,” as Las Vegas approached. At 4.26 pm, Kaur’s automobile flew over a time section into Nevada, travelling during 130mph. Officer Swanson alerted a military officer watchful forward to muster his spike strips. But Kaur swerved, and her tires survived. Then 25 miles later, a highway narrowed to one lane, and a watchful Nevada Highway Patrol guard slid out his spike frame to larger effect. At 4.48 pm, Kaur’s debauch was over. Officer Swanson systematic her out of a car.
“Just fire me,” she begged.
More military cars arrived and a TV news helicopter buzzed overhead. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer Troy Benson shouted instructions during Kaur by a PA complement in Swanson’s unit vehicle. The event lasted dual hours until a military swayed a pirate she was going to hospital, not to jail. But they lied.
Amundeep Kaur was on a treadmill when her phone buzzed with a content message:
‘I ROBBED A BANK.’
She stepped off a treadmill and stared during a screen. Another immature debate burble appeared:
‘I MESSED UP.’
Transported to a Clark County Detention Center, Kaur sat in a dour jail cell. “I’m behind in this hellhole. we thought, we can’t do this.” Thoughts of self-murder returned. “I try… yet my roommate told on me,” she says, crying. “I got put in this psych [cell] where they frame divided all your clothes, and you’re usually sitting there naked.”
Special Agent Seth Footlik of a FBI interviewed a gloomy Sandeep Kaur on 14 August. “Kaur was conjunction remorseful, nor totally honest in her interview,” he told me. we asked if she told him about a loan sharks, and Footlik said: “Kaur has proven to be prejudiced and could not yield corroborating information for her claims. This bureau has not conducted any serve review into Kaur’s claims of aroused loan sharks.” Because Kaur straightforwardly admits to vital a life “full of lies”, her story is tough to verify. However, we detected that both her Arizona and Utah robberies coincided with a court’s final for compensation for her gambling debts. Whatever her genuine motives, this is a story of a lady desperately perplexing to censor her shame.
The Punjabi newspaper, Ajit, is review on a stairs of a Sikh church in Union City, California, before service. As her hearing approached, it speculated that she faced adult to 20 years in sovereign jail on any of a 4 charges opposite her, and fines of $250,000. Kaur says her mom review a story and collapsed.
Not one member of her family attends a Fifth District Court in St George, for her sentencing on 7 Apr 2015. Emotional letters from her hermit Jatinder and cousin Amundeep are handed to a judge, vagrant for leniency. Moments before Kaur arrives, we hear a jangling of her arm and leg shackles. Then she shuffles into a tiny courthouse, wearing a splendid orange jail jumpsuit with “small” printed on a back. She shoots me a shaken smile. At 2pm, her attorney, Jay Winward, a tall, court-appointed counterclaim attorney, tells District Judge Ted Stewart, “There are good criminals and bad.”
He describes Kaur as prepared and of “great value to society”, and says she was “trapped” by her culture. “Trapped?” earnings prosecuting profession Paul Kohler, who is wearing a snappier of a dual suits. “Speak to those who were unequivocally trapped… The families travelling on a turnpike when Kaur sped during 130mph… a bank employees… These are crimes of a violent, sequence nature.” Yet during times Kaur’s actions were roughly comical. The justice hears how she attacked a bank in St George by sanctimonious her finger was a gun. And afterwards there was that absurd wig.
Next, a genuine courtroom play begins. In an surprising move, a decider seals a courtroom and orders a press to leave. It is reported that “sensitive” justification was listened relating to her diagnosis during a hands of loan sharks. If a FBI representative in assign of her box did not trust her, it seemed a decider did. “She amassed a vast gambling debt and, in sequence to repay a loan shark, she attacked a banks,” he concludes. “That control explains since she did what she did, yet by no means justifies what she did… It can't be used as an forgive in a court’s mind.” The raw reporters are authorised behind in time for a prosecutor’s shutting argument. “She was peaceful to gamble,” Kohler says, “not usually her income and income she won during a casino. She was peaceful to play other people’s safety.”
The decider sentences Sandeep Kaur to 66 months in jail, and orders her to compensate behind any dollar of a income she stole. Kaur wipes her eyes and interjection a judge, observant her detain was “a relief”.
During a jail interview, usually before a time is up, Kaur tells me she has been assisting other prisoners. Some are “in and out”, mostly for a same tiny crimes, and Kaur says she urges them to change their lives while they still can. She also says she has rekindled her seductiveness in sacrament – and that she had an epiphany that night in unique capture in a Las Vegas jail. “That’s when we stopped a meditative of murdering myself,” she says. “OK, we did it to myself… Now, it’s like, what can we do to assistance others? That’s my proclivity now.”
And as a complicated doorway slams shut, and we watch by a reinforced window as Kaur shuffles behind to her cell, we find myself wanting to trust her.
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