Kenneth "Speedy" Raulerson
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Kenneth Scott Raulerson, also known as Speedy, is a bank robber from Levy County, Florida convicted of robbing the Dowling Park Barnett/Nations Bank May 18, 1998, by claiming that he had a bomb strapped to his chest.
After the robbery, he escaped arrest and fled to Alaska, where he worked on crab boats. After six months, he returned to the backwoods of Florida, where he stayed in the woods for the next following years with authorities on his tail. After a nine-year search by police and detectives, he was finally caught.
Police and news reports
As initial reports state, it starts with the Dowling Park robbery at 9 a.m. May 18, 1998 when two female bank employees opened the bank for business that morning and were immediately held up by two men. Two customers walked into the robbery and became victims also. Thousands of dollars were taken in the robbery where one of the men, believed to be Raulerson, then 34, wore a pinstriped tuxedo type suit and an auburn red wig resembling the one worn by the Joker in the Batman and Robin series. This man indicated to those in the bank that he had an explosive device strapped to his chest. Both tellers and the customers were forced into the bank’s vault and the door was closed before the two men left the bank, officers said at the time. But during the get-away, a red dye pack exploded, marking their stolen money red which the investigators used for the following years of tracking him.
Meanwhile, a bomb threat had been called in to Suwannee High School at about the same time the robbery took place, causing officers to believe the bomb threat was a ploy to get officers into Live Oak so the robbery could take place without interference and the get-away could be accomplished. A car stolen the night before from Easy Auto in Live Oak and parked overnight at the Suwannee River was used in the bank heist, officers said. A boat and motor stolen from a nearby home several days earlier was believed used for the getaway by water after the stolen car was ditched in bushes near the river.
Three men were arrested, charged and sentenced in the case, but Raulerson had eluded capture. In November 2005, Deputy U.S. Marshals began working on the case with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Levy County Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff's deputies said Raulerson got the name Speedy for his ability to get away from officers, often slipping into the wooded areas around Gulf Hammock, Inglis and Yankeetown - areas where he had grown up and knew how to survive. Once the marshal's service took over the case in November, they deemed it a major case and made it a top priority. The Levy County Sheriff's Investigators eventually determined that Raulerson had relocated to Interlachen, where he did yard work for cash. They began working with Putnam County Sheriff's Deputies to lure Raulerson to a place where they could arrest him.
An undercover female officer arranged to meet Raulerson at a previously abandoned home on Thursday, allegedly to get an estimate on cleaning up the property; he was arrested with the help of a police dog. He is sentenced until 2015.
On the Discovery Channel
Speedy's exploits were aired on an episode of the Discovery Channel's I (Almost) Got Away With It entitled "Got To Work On A Crab Boat", with him and the men who arrested him detailing his escape from the law by hiding in the thick woods and his eventual arrest.