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Though the story seems like perfect fodder for a Dragnet episode, the following event is, well, just the facts.
This is the city, Fort Worth, Texas. Doug Germany works here. He carries a clipboard.
[Enter theme music – “Dum-de-dum-dum. Dum-de-dum-dum-dum …”]
It’s 10 a.m., and the day at Craig’s Collision Center, on Beach Street, starts off like most Mondays – busy.
Two men, approximately 50 years old, come through the door requesting repair work for their 1997 GMC pickup. There’s damage – lots of damage to the right side of the vehicle.
Enter Doug Germany, estimator.
Germany writes an estimate and explains to the men that there’s a high deductible (996 big ones) that must be paid before the insurance company will pick up the remainder of the tab.
The men, Henry Laffoon and Marrin W. Isaacs, are wide-eyed, but agree to the $1,000 deductible and arrange for the rental of a 2004 Mercury Sable. Apparently they knew just where to get the cash for that deductible.
12 O’Clock p.m.
The men drive the rental car north on Beach Street and proceed to Frost Bank. Witnesses later say a man wearing latex gloves, wrap-around sunglasses and a hat or hood forced customers and employees to the ground at gunpoint, demanding money from tellers.
Bank surveillance suggests Laffoon robbed the tellers while Isaacs waited outside in the getaway vehicle. Witnesses saw the men fleeing the scene in the 2004 Sable. Police traced the plates to the Hertz rental car company located at Craig’s Collision Center.
A short time later …
Police contact shop manager, Gary Carley, and information on the alleged bank robbers is compiled.
3 O’Clock p.m.
Laffoon and Isaacs call Craig’s Collision Center wanting to add liability insurance coverage to their rental car. Carley tells them to stop back by the store to fill out the additional paperwork.
Approximately 4:30 p.m.
Up front, the shop appears business as usual. In back, police agencies are waiting. On arrival, Laffoon and Isaacs enter the shop and sit down at the car rental desk to upgrade their rental coverage.
While waiting, Laffoon tells Germany to, “go ahead and fix the rear bumper too.” (Why not? After all, he now had the cash.)
In the back hallway, the police and FBI agents are waiting, guns drawn, for the right moment.
As the two men walk through the outside door, members of the Fort Worth SWAT team, FBI agents and Fort Worth police officers confront them and have both Laffoon and Isaacs in custody in seconds. Police recover a handgun from the rental car.
In the End
It turns out Laffoon and Issacs also are sus-pects in the robbery of a Wells Fargo bank and two Bank One robberies. They’ve reportedly used rental cars in each case.
Authorities believe the vehicle the men traded in to buy the truck they brought to Craig’s for repairs was likely purchased with stolen money. They had owned the truck for about two weeks.
As for Craig’s, they’re still repairing the truck for the used car lot that originally sold it to Laffoon.
Both men are in federal custody. They await trial on several armed robbery charges with the knowledge that crime doesn’t pay the deductible.