On Jan. 16, a man holding a gun stole $6,014 from Mechanics Bank in Berkeley. Security camera footage showed the man point the gun at a teller, then lean over the counter and grab the cash from the drawer.
The video also caught a distinguishing feature on the robber: what appeared to be a tattoo on the man's right hand.
The man would would flee town, reaching 2,000 miles away, according to authorities. But distance of his escape far exceeded its duration. Nine days after the crime, a man fitting the robber's description was arrested in Missouri. And last week federal prosecutors charged 33-year-old James Craig Davis with bank robbery.
Davis was identified as a suspect with a day of the crime, after Berkley police "circulated bank surveillance photographs to surrounding law enforcement agencies," explained a federal complained filed last Thursday in U.S. District Court in Oakland. Someone in the Marin County Sheriff's Office identified the person in the images as Davis.
The next day, four bank employees looked at a photo line-up. Two of them "positively identified Davis as the robber," one said that he was the "most like" the robber, and the fourth said that the "looks close to" the robber.
An Alameda County Superior Court judge issued an arrest warrant for Davis on January 22. Later that day, Davis was pulled over for a traffic stop in Platte County, Mo., according to the court documents. The arresting officer found a black air-soft pistol in the center console.
"The pistol strongly resembles the black handgun shown in photos of the robbery," FBI agent Stonie Carlson stated in an affidavit.
Davis' wife, identified in court documents only as "E.M.," was in the passenger seat during the arrest. Building the case against Davis, Carlson notes one more deductive detail in his statement: "E.M.'s publicly available Facebook profile contains a photograph of her sitting next to and embracing Davis. In that photo, Davis has a tattoo on his right hand, consistent with the Mechanics Bank surveillance footage."