Bank robbery suspect still on the loose, believed to be in East Texas
Randall Wikert (Source: Kilgore PD)
KILGORE, TX (KLTV) -
According to the Kilgore Police Department, 60-year-old Randall L. Wikert of Kilgore has been identified as the suspect who robbed a BankTexas location Tuesday afternoon. A warrant has been obtained for his arrest for robbery.
On Wednesday afternoon, police moved in on a Longview motel trying to make an arrest in the case. Wilkert wasn't there, but authorities were able to confirm with people in the area that he had been at a motel and fast food restauarant on Estes Parkway earlier that day.
Wikert's last known address is on Spradley Road in Kilgore. He is 6'4" tall, clean shaven and has no teeth. Wikert is currently on parole and was released from a Texas prison in April 2012. He was originally jailed in June 1980 and was serving a life sentence for capital murder.
Wikert approached a female teller at BankTexas, located on Highway 42 near Interstate 20, around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. He was armed with a knife and took an unknown amount of money before fleeing on foot. Police established a perimeter along Interstate 20 shortly after the robbery occurred.
After receiving tips, authorities went to a residence just north of Kilgore. The chief and multiple officers went to that location, checked it out and did not find the suspect there.
"That led us to another location in Kilgore where his wife was located," says Chief Hunter.
Authorities spoke to the suspect's wife, but couldn't find out where Wikert was.
Wikert doesn't have a car, but police don't believe he's on foot.
"We believe after the robbery, he contacted someone and they've been giving him rides. We just don't know at this point who that is," said Hunter.
Police say that although Wikert could have left the area, they don't think he made it very far. They believe it's highly likely he's still in the Kilgore area.
Kilgore Police Chief Todd Hunter said he believes all of the tips that originated on Tuesday came from people seeing the suspect's photo on KLTV 7 News.
"We really began to get our tips at 5:20 on Tuesday evening," said Hunter. "They called Crimestoppers in Gregg County."
Anyone with information regarding Wikert's whereabouts is asked to contact Detective Trae Portwood with the Kilgore Police Department at 903-983-1559. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers at 903-236-STOP. A reward of $1,000 is being offered for information leading to his arrest.
Prior to 2005, Texas defendant sentenced to life on a capital murder charge could become eligible for parole. Copyright 2013 KLTV. All rights reserved.