A woman who was referred to a religious organization for help during an aborted bank robbery was charged with three counts of bank burglary in a complaint filed in federal court Friday.
Easter O. Jimison, 37, of the 1200 block of Ridge Avenue in Collinsville, allegedly robbed the FCB Banks Caseyville branch on Nov. 7 and the FCB Banks Maryville branch on Dec. 10. In between, Jimison allegedly aborted an attempt to rob the Bank of Edwardsville in Swansea.
Jimison entered the FCB Banks Caseyville branch Nov. 7, obtained a deposit slip from a counter in the middle of the bank and approached a teller, court documents allege. Once at the teller, Jimison handed a note to the teller that said,”Put the money in a bag. Act Normal. Don’t look around,” according to court documents.
The teller stacked bills on the counter until told it was enough. Jimison then allegedly put $4,621 in her coat and left the bank with the note and the deposit slip.
After the teller announced that she was robbed, another bank employee went to the front window and saw the person alleged to be Jimison get into a silver Nissan Versa with no license plate. Caseyville Police reported on Nov. 7 that the suspect was last seen driving northbound on Hollywood Height’s Road.
The burglar was described by bank employees as an African-American female about 5-foot-5 or 5-foot-6 tall, wearing a black jacket with a yellow badge and the word “security” on it. A woman matching the description, and later identified as Jimison, entered the Bank of Edwardsville in Swansea on Dec. 5.
Jimison allegedly gave a Bank of Edwardsville teller a note that read, “Give me the money, this is not a joke.” After the teller gathered the money from a drawer and placed it on the counter, Jimison said she could not go through with the robbery and apologized to the teller, saying she needed the money for rent.
As the person identified as Jimison was interacting with the teller, another Bank of Edwardsville employee approached the pair and referred the aborted bank robber to St. Henry’s Church in Belleville for possible financial assistance. Jimison left the bank with the note. Investigators learned of the Dec. 5 aborted robbery on Dec. 11, one day after the FCB Banks in Maryville was robbed.
Jimison allegedly drove to the FCB Banks Maryville branch in a silver car with no license plate on Dec. 10. A bank employee was outside and approached Jimison as she entered the bank. The employee greeted Jimison, who responded by turning her head to the side. She did not speak to the employee, according to court documents.
The employee watched the person later identified as Jimison approach a teller. With her head down, Jimison allegedly handed a note to the teller, instructing the teller to act normal. The robber, described as an African-American lady, 25-35, 5-foot-5 and 165 pounds, left the bank with $864 and was seen getting into a silver car with no license plates.
After reviewing bank video and similarities to the Caseyville robbery, investigators, led by the FBI, believed the same person was responsible for both robberies. After learning of the Dec. 5 attempted Bank of Edwardsville in Swansea robbery, investigators interviewed employees and found that the suspect had been referred to St. Henry Catholic Church in Belleville for possible financial assistance.
A St. Henry employee told investigators that a person named Easter Jimison had recently inquired about help paying her rent and had provided an address in Collinsville. Pastor Kenneth York told the Metro Independent that it is his policy to not disclose any financial assistance given.
Investigators determined that Jimison has a Nissan Versa registered at her Collinsville residence. When approached by investigators, Jimison denied involvement in the three incidents and consented to a search of her property and car, according to court documents.
In the car, investigators found a black bag with a black coat that had a gold badge on it and the word “security” embroidered on it, a green knit cap and a camouflage ball cap. The items were identical to the items worn by the FCB Banks Caseyville robber. The rear license plate on the silver Nissan Versa parked in the driveway was held on by two screws inserted only halfway and that appeared to have been recently adjusted, court documents allege.
Jimison was taken to the Maryville Police Department, where she allegedly confessed to both bank robberies and the aborted robbery. She was charged in the complaint with three counts of bank burglary for entering the banks with the intent to commit a felony or any larceny affecting the bank.
According to a financial disclosure statement filed in federal court, Jimison has a common law spouse and three children. She earns $125 per month, receives food stamps and owes $800 per month in rent. Jimison indicated on the document that she owes $12,000 to a finance company and $3,000 to Ameren.
Bond was set at $5,000. Within 30 days Jimison must be either indicted on the charges by a grand jury or no charges will be brought, Jim Porter, spokesperson for the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, said.