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CU System briefs (03/12/2009)
* ALTON, Ill. (3/13/09)--An independent funeral director whose business was failing has been charged with robbing two financial institutions, including the Dec. 5 robbery of Evansville (Ind.) FCU. George Chestnut, 46, of Alton, Ill., was arrested last week in Gibson County, Ind., shortly after a robbery Friday at First Bank of Princeton. Tuesday he was charged with the credit union robbery. An undisclosed sum from the credit union holdup has not been recovered, said police (St. Louis Post-Dispatch March 12) … * ANTIOCH, Calif. (3/13/09)--A teller who allegedly pretended to be a hostage and helped orchestrate a robbery at First Metropolitan CU's Antioch branch was one of five people arrested this week. Arrested were: Daniel Ramsey, 20, the teller; his friends, Angelo Leyesa, 21, and Shannon Sorrell, 18, a college student; and two people allegedly recruited as gunmen, Jarret Sermeno, 19, and Kevin Taylor, 18. The robbery occurred about 5:50 p.m. Feb. 25 when two men wearing ski masks and brandishing handguns entered the branch and ordered Ramsey at gunpoint to open the vault. He filled the bag with $74,000. The suspects fled, dropping $20,000, and allegedly joined Leyesa and Sorrell in a getaway car. No one was injured. Two days earlier an attempt to rob the credit union failed when one of the suspects, believed to be Leyesa, lost his nerve. That prompted the recruiting of Sermeno and Taylor, police said. Police believed the job was an inside job after witnesses noted the robbers seemed familiar with the credit union's layout (Contra Costa Times March 12) … * FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (3/13/09)--The Texas Credit Union League is looking for singers for the league's 75th Annual Meeting and Expo April 14-17 in Austin. Entrants to the "Sing Your Way There" National Anthem contest must submit a YouTube video performance of a song showcasing their talent by the close of business today. The winner will perform the National Anthem at the meeting and received a waived registration to the event (LoneStar Leaguer March 12) … * WASHINGTON (3/13/09)--Police FCU--headquartered in Upper Marlboro, Md., with a branch office in Washington, D.C.--has unveiled its new CO-OP Fast Branch kiosks in two police stations. The kiosks, one at each location, are the first kiosks in the nation to be located inside a police station, according to the Maryland and District of Columbia Credit Union Association (FOCUS Newsletter March 9). They replace the credit union's older ATMs, which operated since 1998. The credit union, which serves the law enforcement community exclusively, was the first financial institution in Washington to install ATMs in police substations. It did so to provide a safe, secure place for the local community to access their funds …


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