Larry Poulos wasn't very close with his roommate. They had only been sharing their Arlington apartment for a few days, and they had never been formally introduced. The roommate knew him only as "Chino." So, when Poulos announced on Saturday that he planned to rob a bank, the roommate took it as a joke that quickly faded into the back of his mind.
He was only reminded of the conversation on Tuesday, when an FBI task force member informed him that Poulos was believed to have held up a bank earlier in the day. With that, the roommate realized that Poulos had been quite serious indeed.
The heist wasn't a particularly masterful one, which is how the roommate came to be sitting across from the FBI agent in the Arlington jail. According to a federal criminal complaint, Poulos walked the mile or so from his apartment to Educational Employees Credit Union off West Pioneer Parkway, entering the lobby at about 1:15 p.m. He waited patiently in line for his turn, then slid a deposit slip across the counter.
At first, the teller thought the note scrawled on the back -- something about a bomb was all she could make out -- was a joke. Again, she doesn't know Poulos. But when she looked up and saw him holding a plastic bag and keeping his hand at an object at his waist, she decided it wasn't and shoveled more than $5,000 into the sack.
So far so good for Poulos, but there were a couple of things he didn't reckon on. One was that the "I ❤ Texas" T-shirt he was wearing, and which both employees and surveillance cameras took note of, was quite distinctive. Nor did he consider that the dollar bills fluttering from the bag as he sprinted back to his apartment might prompt suspicious neighbors to call 911. And finally, he certainly didn't plan on getting robbed within minutes of his own heist.
Yet that's exactly what happened. The roommate, during his interview with the FBI, said that Poulos had returned to the apartment not long after 1 p.m. and disappeared into a back bedroom. A few minutes later, two men, both quite large, strolled into the apartment and soon after emerged carrying a sack full of cash.
When police showed up, they found Poulos, still wearing his "I ❤ Texas" T-shirt, wandering through the apartment complex, bleeding profusely from a minor head wound. He told officers that he'd just been robbed, carefully omitting the details about where the stolen money had come from.
Police, who recognized his shirt, had a pretty good idea and, when he refused to answer questions about the EECU robbery, they took him to jail based on surveillance evidence. He now faces federal bank robbery charges.
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