Courts

Dallas Woman Indicted for String of Bank Robberies in Fall 2019

Crime spiked early on during the pandemic.
Crime spiked early on during the pandemic. Michael Förtsch on Unsplash
First, the feds say, a concerned citizen gave away Patricia Maldonado’s identity. Then, Patricia Maldonado’s Facebook photos gave away Patricia Maldonado. Finally, Patricia Maldonado gave away Patricia Maldonado.

Maldonado, 34, allegedly carried out three bank robberies in Dallas in 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice in North Texas said on Wednesday. The way the indictment puts it, Maldonado hit the Comerica Bank on Fort Worth Avenue, Chase Bank on Mockingbird Lane and Chase Bank on Coit Road.

Wearing a baseball cap, Maldonado allegedly entered the banks, announced that she was packing heat via a little note and then tore off on foot with the cash.

After a concerned citizen reached out to the feds and said it was Maldonado in the surveillance photos, law enforcement did what law enforcement so often does these days: checked her Facebook page. There, they found photos of Maldonado posing next to a silver Jeep Patriot that had been spotted at the crime scenes.

On Jan. 29, law enforcement arrested Maldonado at her job. She later admitted that she was the same person in the surveillance photos, the DOJ said. She’s now facing the possibility of up to two decades in prison, if convicted. The investigation involved the FBI and the Dallas Police Department.

Per capita, Texas clocked in at number seven when it came to the states with the most bank robberies in 2020, according to one tally.

Early in the pandemic, crime reportedly spiked in several cities around the country. In North Texas, a spate of gun store robberies put the feds on high alert last year. Crime has since slumped in cities like Dallas.

Earlier this month, Arlington police officers arrested two people suspected of robbing a bank and recovered the cash.

Last month, federal authorities in Houston said they were on the hunt for an aging bank robbery they’d nicknamed the “Granddaddy Bandit.”

When he hit the second bank on the same day, “He approached the teller counter, told the teller he was committing a bank robbery and demanded cash,” the FBI said in a statement.

“The suspect displayed a handgun that was concealed in his backpack,” the statement added. “After the teller complied, the ‘Grandaddy Bandit’ ran out of the bank with an undisclosed amount of money.”
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Patrick Strickland is the news editor at the Dallas Observer. He's a former senior reporter at Al Jazeera English and has reported for the New York Review of Books, The Guardian, Politico EU and The New Republic, among others.