FBI posts wanted billboard of bank robbery suspect

The FBI has now posted Patrick Wayne Simmons photo and a reward of up to $30,000 on Clear Channel Outdoor billboards throughout the greater Houston area.

December 9, 2011 3:47:41 AM PST
Do you know Patrick Simmons' whereabouts? It could earn you $30,000 if you do. He is one of the FBI's most wanted fugitives.

The FBI says Simmons and a crew of others were heavily armed when they targeted banks inside grocery stores, including the one inside a Kroger on Voss. He's been wanted for more than a month and the fear is that as time goes on, he has less to lose.

With decorations filling the front yard, the Simmons house in northwest Houston looks ready for holiday gatherings, though there is one family member who won't be there.

"I hadn't talked to him or nothing," Kewanda Simmons said.

Kewanda Simmons says she last talked her brother more than a month ago. On Thursday, Patrick Simmons was named the Houston FBI's Most Wanted Fugitive. His picture now towers over three major freeways.

"He should be considered extremely dangerous," said Shauna Dunlap with the Houston FBI.

The 27-year-old and eight other men are accused of robbing at least eight banks dating back to August 2010. The targets were scattered throughout the area. Most were inside grocery stores, and during one, Harris County Sgt. Michael Ellison was shot.

"Some bank robbers have a note, some threaten a weapon, but don't display one. Some have a handgun. These individuals were armed with handguns, shotguns and assault rifles," Dunlap said.

Those believed to be part of Simmons' crew were arrested on the Gulf Freeway right after an attempted bank robbery in mid-September. Since then, they've been indicted and are in custody, while Simmons remains on the run.

"The longer a fugitive is on the run, the more dangerous it gets, the most desperate they get," Dunlap said.

The billboards advertise the chunk of cash available for information, while Kewanda Simmons seems indifferent about her brother's fugitive status.

"If he saw the TV, would you want to tell him to turn himself in?" we asked her.

"Yes," she replied.

According to the FBI, there were 95 more bank robberies around this time last year, so they're down quite a bit and they attribute that to a number of arrests they've made. In fact, there have been no take-over type bank robberies since this crew was arrested in September, but again, they are still looking for Patrick Simmons.

Simmons is the only fugitive in the case. He is described as a black male, 5-foot-11, approximately 180 pounds, with black hair, brown eyes, and tattoos on his arms and neck. Investigators believe he is still in the Houston area.

Crime Stoppers will pay up to $30,000 for any information called in to the 713-222-TIPS (8477) or submitted online at www.crime-stoppers.org that leads to the filing of felony charges or arrest of the suspect in this case. Tips can also be sent by text message. Text TIP610 plus your tip to CRIMES (274637). All tipsters remain anonymous.

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