NewsChannel 11 has new information about the Lubbock bank robber who was apparently leading a double life. Known to friends and family as a genuinely nice guy, but it looks as if he was secretly living the life of an outlaw. 40 year-old Timothy Gould of Lubbock is now in an Austin jail. He was arrested after allegedly robbing an Austin bank on Thursday morning. After his arrest, Gould confessed to a string of other robberies dating back to 1999, four of which happened right here in Lubbock.
On Thursday afternoon, he was arrested in Austin in connection with an early morning bank robbery there. Tracking devices in the stolen money led police to his hotel, which was then surrounded by the SWAT team. After his arrest, Gould reportedly confessed to the FBI about the four Lubbock robberies, all of which had similarities. Gould would wait for the first employees to arrive in the morning and would then follow them in. His identity was unknown until now, so he was labeled the "Saturday Bandit" because the Lubbock robberies all happened that day of the week.
Those robberies occurred at these locations: The Money Stop in 1999, the Lubbock Federal Credit Union in 2000, WESTEX Federal Credit Union in 2001, and First National later in 2001. One of those happened here at the Lubbock Federal Credit Union at 2599 74th St. Vicki Ritcherson was the first to show up the morning of April 29th, 2000 and decided to go in and get ready for business. What happened next still haunts her. The robber was hiding in some bushes along the side of the building and followed her in.
"He said he would not hurt me. And then I struggled a while, and he said, 'you're going to have to calm down, or I'll have to do something.' That scared me enough to calm me down," says Ritcherson. "I took him to the vault and that's when he tied me up and put me in the closet."
Ritcherson says the robber was wearing all black with a ski mask. All she remembers is that he had blue eyes and said very little. That's information that fits all of the robberies.
So, who is the man now charged? Timothy Gould is a Lubbock resident. Family and friends say they're as shocked as anyone to learn about this. One family friend says Gould was always vague about what he did for a living. Dee Roach says Gould acted as a property manager for the Presage Group Limited and was her property manager for four years. She says she was floored to hear of his arrest.
"Tim was a really nice guy. To meet him, you could not believe he could be a bank robber. We rented from him for four years, and anytime we had a problem, he was over there and fixed it," says Roach.
But Gould does have a history. Until now, he's never been charged with robbery, but he was arrested in 1997 on theft charges of more than $20,000. Those charges were later dismissed. Back in 1987, he pleaded guilty to burglary and was placed on probation for 10 years. He's also been charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon, a charge that was also later dismissed.
Now, he's in an Austin jail on a robbery charge there. Late Thursday night, four more charges were filed against him in Lubbock, each with a $500,000 bond. That number could grow, as could the number of robbery charges. And jail is where one of his alleged victims is hoping he'll stay for a considerable amount of time.
"I would like to look him in the eye and tell him that he doesn't realize what he's done. Every time you come to the office, you just have this feeling, this uneasy feeling," says Ritcherson.
Investigators believe the amount stolen by Gould could exceed $1 million. Friends and family say they don't understand what would have possessed Gould to rob banks, and they can't imagine what he spent the money on.