Father Turned Bank Robber to Help His Girls, Police Say

Keith Giammanco allegedly robbed 12 banks to provide for his daughters.

ByABC News via logo
September 26, 2008, 7:53 AM

Sept. 26, 2008 — -- Tough economic times have driven some people to desperate measures, but few are accused of going quite so far as Missouri resident Keith Giammanco.

According to police, Giammanco went on a 10-month bank robbing spree in which he stole a total of around $100,000 from 12 banks in the St. Louis area. The robber earned the nickname "The Boonie Hat Bandit" for the military-style hats he wore. Police say Giammanco did it to provide for his 17-year-old twin daughters.

"He's my Robin Hood, taking from greedy banks and giving to his daughters who need," Giammanco's daughter Elise told "Good Morning America."

Giammanco, a single dad and private day trader, reportedly fell on hard times when the stock market took a downturn and he became unable to provide for his daughters the way he liked or pay mortgage bills.

"He took the role of mom and dad," Elise said. "He was working and he was doing laundry."

Giammanco then turned to a life of crime, police say, by entering banks during regular business hours and slipping the teller a note. He never used a gun.

But one quick-acting teller was able to put the 10-month crime spree to an end.

"The employee was able to get the license plate of the vehicle, which was then given to responding officers," Detective John Bradley told "GMA."

"He expressed that this isn't the type of person that he is and felt that he had to do this to help his family," Bradley said.

Giammanco's daughters were stunned by the news.

"It must be a mistake. I fell to my knees and cried," Marissa said.

The twins, who are seniors in high school and were planning to go to college next year, are now coping with life without either parent.

"It's odd to think that I won't be able to do anything with my dad outside of a little prison cell for years," Marissa said. "Both of my parents are gone. What am I going to do?"

"Who's going to be there to walk me down the aisle?" Elise said. "And who's going to be there when I really need somebody to talk to?"

Giammanco is currently being held in a St. Louis jail and, though police say he confessed to robbing the 12 banks, has yet to enter a plea.