CLEVELAND – Authorities say a Cleveland bank robbery suspect mistakenly handed over his identity to a teller when he gave her a note Monday morning.
It was just after 11 a.m. when 54-year-old Michael Harrell walked up to the counter at the U.S. Bank branch at 7993 Euclid Ave. on the city’s east side and passed the teller a piece of paper, demanding money.
"When the teller took the note, and looked at it and looked at the other side, she saw his name. He had used a note that he had used earlier at the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles and it had his name on it,” said Special Agent Vicki Anderson, of the Cleveland Office of the FBI.
Investigators said the teller was stunned to find not only his name, but his address.
"She actually even referred to him as Michael,” Anderson said. “Gave him the money and called him Michael and then notified law enforcement."
Once authorities confirmed that Harrell was the same man caught on surveillance cameras robbing the bank, a warrant was quickly issued for his arrest.
The FBI said this is not the first time that a bank robber has left an incriminating piece of evidence at the scene, but in each case, it makes the job of finding the suspect a lot easier.
“We've had individuals drop things on the way out the door, that they didn't intend to obviously. We've had individuals drop cellphones that have all their identifying information in it,” Anderson said. "A lot of times, we're sending out pictures, we have no idea who this person could be or what part of town they could be from. And when you present a note that has your name already on it and address, it helps law enforcement tremendously."
Investigators said the smart move now for Harrell would be to turn himself in.