KANSAS CITY, KAN. – Two Kansas men were charged today with a pair of bank robberies in which shots were fired and robbers wore Black Panther and Venom masks, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said today.
Michael Shiferaw, 20, Olathe, Kan., and Kenya Breakfield, 21, Olathe, Kan., were charged with two counts of bank robbery. They were charged with an Oct. 31, 2018, robbery at Wells Fargo Bank in Leawood, Kan., and a March 27, 2019, robbery at Commerce Bank in Roeland Park, Kan.
Wells Fargo robbery
According to documents filed in federal court in Kansas City, Kan., two robbers entered the Wells Fargo Bank at 2000 West 103rd in Leawood carrying guns and wearing masks that looked like the comic book and movie character Venom. Both robbers were carrying guns and threatened bank employees. Before leaving with cash, one of the robbers fired a round from his handgun into the ceiling.
Commerce Bank Robbery
At Commerce Bank, a single robber entered the building wearing a Black Panther mask. During the robbery, he fired a total of four shots while giving orders to bank employees. When he left the bank, he got into a small, black, four-door car.
On March 27, agents set up surveillance at a house in the 1700 block of Lindenwood in Olathe where they spotted the defendants. Agents followed the defendants as they drove to Shiferaw’s residence in the 12000 block of Meadow Lane in Olathe. Later that day, Olathe Police responded to a report of a domestic disturbance at the house. The defendants were arrested with a black backpack full of currency and a handgun.
It is alleged that Breakfield took part in the first robbery and drove the getaway car in the second robbery. The defendants purchased the masks at a Spencers gift store.
If convicted, the defendants face up to 25 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count. Investigators included the FBI, Leawood Police Department, the Olathe Police Department, the Kansas City Police Department and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kim Flannigan is prosecuting.
In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.