4 bank tellers testify in robbery case

June 18, 2008 3:29:56 PM PDT
It's day two of the federal bank robbery trial of Randy Rencher, who escaped from Cook County Jail and is accused of going on a crime spree.Rencher is charged with five bank robberies. On Wednesday, the court heard testimony from four bank tellers.

The feds labeled Rencher a serial bank robber. At one point, he was suspected in more than a dozen bank heists. The trial covers just five of them that occurred in Chicago. The robberies never turned violent, but the threat was always there.

Teller after teller from bank after bank testified that Rencher was the man that robbed them. Jurors saw a series of surveillance tapes showing three of the five heists Rencher has been charged with. Through tears, bank teller Katrina Pack told jurors, "He told me he had a gun in his bag and to give him hundreds and fifties."

So far, Rencher's defense has focused on the suggestion that the tellers' memories may be mistaken.

"The ability to recall, a lot of time has gone by and the ability to get across what happened in a short amount of time is something we challenge in these kinds of cases," said Robert Clarke, Rencher's attorney.

Rencher escaped from the Cook County Jail in 2005 by slipping away from a work detail and into guard's uniform before quite literally walking out the front door. He was on the run for four months before he turned himself in and allegedly confessed to a Cleveland bartender.

"She was really a beautiful person. It was like she was sent to really help me along," Rencher said in 2006.

That's how Rencher recalled the bartender in an exclusive ABC7 interview. Now, she'll testify against him.

When they captured Rencher, there were TV cameras there and he said, "I robbed many banks, took over $380,000 cash."

"It was a lot of boasting. I was felling braggard, very boastful," Rencher recanted later. "That's something I'm dealing with and is pending. It would be premature to speak about right now."

"A jury has to make up its mind on the evidence that's presented, not what they see on TV," said Clarke.

There is some talk that Rencher may chose to take the stand and testify on his own behalf. His attorney wouldn't reveal their strategy Wednesday.


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