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Doctor Disguises, Piece of Paper Lead to Robbery Arrest

December 23, 1995

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) _ For several months, investigators distributed a rough portrait of a bank robber who stole nearly $50,000 from 10 banks.

But in the end, it was a discarded piece of paper and a partiality to medical disguises that nailed the suspect _ who just happened to be living under the noses of authorities in a halfway house.

Shamont L. Sapp, 32, was arrested Thursday and charged in two bank robberies, on Oct. 18 and Nov. 9. An investigation is continuing into the eight other robberies.

``With the disguises he used, it was hard to come up with a true likeness,″ said FBI senior agent David Malarney. ``He moved around to different banks. He did his homework. And he was living in a halfway house _ not out in the street flashing money.″

Investigators linked the 10 robberies because in each one, the robber disguised himself as a doctor, wearing surgical masks or bandages on his face.

One break in the case came when an employee of the halfway house where Sapp was living remembered that Sapp worked at a medical center and told authorities. The employee had been discussing the robberies with his wife, who also worked at a medical center and who mentioned that any clinic worker could easily obtain medical supplies.

Meanwhile, tellers at the Farmers Trust Bank in Carlisle, site of the November robbery, found a piece of paper the robber dropped while making a fast getaway. The paper had Sapp’s fingerprints on it.

``This bank robber is spending Christmas and many more Christmases in prison,″ Malarney said.

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