Suspects in Edwards bank robberies announced engagement before alleged crime binge
FBI grabbed Karen Hyatt when she bonded out of Adams County jail
The FBI didn’t have much trouble finding the woman suspected of trying to rob two banks in the Edwards Riverwalk on May 1.
Karen Sophia Hyatt, 33, was in the Adams County jail for drug possession and ID theft. When she posted her $2,500 bond on June 25, FBI agents grabbed her on bank robbery charges, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office said.
The FBI says Hyatt and Craig “Lucky” Dickson, the other suspect in the Edwards incidents, announced their engagement on April 8, 2019, in a Facebook post, then took part in five bank robberies in the next 30 days.
The FBI checked Hyatt’s and Dickson’s cell phone records and found that they were together — as engaged people like to be — at the scene when banks were robbed in Denver, Boulder, Centennial and on May 1 in Edwards, where Hyatt is suspected of asking tellers at Wells Fargo and US Bank for money with a hand-written note, according to an FBI arrest affidavit.
“Based on their intimate relationship and past associations, it is reasonable to believe they would be traveling in each other’s company,” the FBI’s arrest affidavit said.
Bank security photos matched photos on their Facebook pages, as well as their criminal mugshots, the FBI said.
Then there were the eyewitnesses. Metro Denver Crimestoppers received three anonymous calls from witnesses all independently naming Karen Sophia Hyatt as the Edwards bank robber, the FBI said.
As for the Edwards bank robberies, Hyatt got away with $9,734 in cash from Wells Fargo, the FBI said.
The tellers in the Edwards US Bank branch did not understand what Hyatt wanted. When they took longer to respond than she wanted, Hyatt snatched back the note and left the bank with nothing, the FBI said.
If convicted, Hyatt faces 20 years in prison and fines up to $250,000.
Crime spree started at 4:20
The alleged spree started at 4:20 p.m. Friday, April 12, when Denver police officers were called to the TCF Bank on Broadway for a bank robbery in progress.
The teller told officers a man was waiting in line. When it was his turn he did not speak, but handed over a note saying, “Give me all the money in your drawer, I need all the $50s and $100s. No GPS,” according to the FBI.
The teller was frightened and handed over all the money in her drawer, which included a covert tracking bundle, the FBI said.
The robber again told the teller, “I need the $50s and $100s.”
When the teller told the robber that was all the money, he more forcefully repeated, “I need all the $50s and $100s.” The teller opened a bottom drawer, took out some large-bill currency and handed it over, the FBI said.
The robber quickly left the bank and fled on foot with $1,304 in cash … and the covert GPS tracker. The robber apparently disabled the tracker, but hung onto it, and was picked up by an accomplice driving a dark blue Chevy Malibu.
A witness showed police a phone the robber might have dropped while fleeing the scene. When the FBI searched it, agents found several selfie photos, which Denver police checked against their criminal mug shots and social media.
Another quick check found that the phone had been used for web searches about “bank robbery,” the FBI said.
That phone was used to contact Dickson and a female the FBI later determined was Hyatt. Communications on that phone continued up to the minutes prior to that April 12 robbery in Denver, the FBI said. Among them are indications that Dickson is a member of the 211 Gang, a white supremacist prison gang, and had spent some time in a Colorado prison. Dickson’s criminal history includes drug distribution, robbery, kidnapping, motor vehicle theft, eluding police and burglary.
The FBI says security photos from a Tuesday, April 30, 2019, Boulder bank robbery indicate that that the perpetrator was likely Dickson, and that he might have used makeup to cover his neck tattoos.
Two Edwards bank jobs
The FBI says it appears Hyatt and Dickson ventured away from the Denver Metro area and into the mountains on May 1 for the two bank robberies in the Edwards Riverwalk at Wells Fargo and the US Bank.
A female, whom the FBI says was Hyatt, entered both banks about three minutes apart and handed tellers a robbery note demanding cash.
The Wells Fargo robbery was successful and Hyatt left with $9,734 in cash, the FBI said.
The US Bank robbery was not, the FBI affidavit said. The tellers were confused, so Hyatt snatched back the note and fled on foot.
Hyatt appears on the Wells Fargo security camera footage at 9:02 a.m. May 1, and on the US Bank security camera at 9:05 a.m.
“Hyatt’s most recent mug photo, taken March 3, 2019, bears a strong resemblance to the robber in the Wells Fargo Bank photographs,” the FBI said.
The FBI says Hyatt is a multi-state offender with arrests for things like possession of burglary tools, motor vehicle theft, vehicular eluding and drug possession.
Her attorney, Richard Stuckey, appointed in June to represent Hyatt, did not respond to requests for comment.
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Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario said he has never seen a case where arrest documents were not filed within 48 hours.