The FBI office in Knoxville, Tenn., wants to make sure images of its most recent serial bank robber are larger than life.
The bureau has partnered with an outdoor advertising agency, Lamar Outdoor Advertising, to put images of the robber on billboards in eight states across the Southeast. The images were drawn from surveillance cameras that include the robber’s full facial features since he has conducted the robberies without a mask or disguise.
Based on information obtained after the billboards went up, authorities in the Eastern District of Tennessee issued a federal arrest warrant charging 36-year-old Chad E. Schaffner with two counts of bank robbery and two counts of use of a firearm during a bank robbery. He is suspected of robbing nine banks and one credit union throughout Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The FBI did not release which banks or credit union he had robbed.
The agency considers Schaffner armed and dangerous and asked that anyone with information regarding Schaffner’s whereabouts contact the FBI or their local law enforcement office.
Schaffner is described as a white male, 36 years old, 6 feet tall and 200 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. Additionally, he may be driving a 1994 GMC Jimmy pickup truck, black in color with Tennessee license plate 360 WLN or a 1994 Chevrolet S10 pickup, red in color with South Carolina license plate EVE 177.
The FBI urged concerned citizens to visit the Knoxville Division Web site at knoxville.fbi.gov to view a current photo and copies of the warrant.
“This case is an emblematic example of the importance of public-private sector alliances in bringing criminals to justice in today’s information age,” said Richard Lambert, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Knoxville Division. “Working together with Lamar Outdoor Advertising and other electronic billboard owners, we now have the capability to instantly display a wanted suspect’s face to thousands of motorists throughout several states.”
–dmorrison@cutimes.com