Small-town robbery suspect in the less than 5% category

Update: Police cleared Aurielle Tineo of charges she robbed this credit union and arrested another woman. Jennifer Sykes Deviller of Lake Charles, La., was arrested for the robbery discussed here. Repeat: Auriell Tineo has NOT been charged with any crimes. It must really suck for Ms. Tineo being charged with such a crime. She still might want to make some changes on her My Space page. The jist of this post on the rarity of women bank robbers. Apparently, they are not so rare where I live.

Before I start, I have to first say that having a fascination for a subject doesn’t mean one has to condone that subject.

I speak of bank robbery. It’s an odd crime and I am fascinated by the subject. It is odd because the chances are so meager for someone to get away with holding up a bank. FBI statistics indicate that only murders are cleared by arrest more often than bank robbery. Almost 60 percent of bank robberies are cleared compared to about 62 percent of murders. Then, when you throw in the fact that only about 5 percent of bank robbers are female, you might see how someone who is interested in the crime of bank robbery from a sociological standpoint such as I, might be even more interested in that rare bird, the woman bank robber. True.

So when a young, relatively attractive female was arrested yesterday for the robbery of a small-town credit union in my area, I found myself asking why? If this person indeed robbed this financial institution was it because she likes drugs, as she admits on her My Space page and seems to be the motive given the judgment of the sheriff whose jail now holds the young woman? Was it because, as famed bank robber Willie Sutton was supposed to have said: “Because that’s where the money is?” Was it excitement, prodded by small-town boredom? Was she just nuts?

These are all questions we won’t know, probably, anytime soon. We don’t even know if she is the robber. However, she was fingered by a phone caller who saw a robber fitting her description on a video of the hold-up during a local TV news broadcast.

Aurielle Tineo, 26, of Hamshire, Texas, is suspected of robbing the Texas Coastal Commercial Federal Credit Union — someone needs to look into abbreviating that name — in nearby Winnie on Feb. 4. The linked video in the paragraph above shows a woman who held a pistol by the barrel while telling employees to stuff money in a bag. Some of the still pictures in the news video, by Beaumont TV station KFDM Channel 6, also capture a nice-looking young woman with some evident quirks judging by her driver license photo. She admits to that quirkiness on her My Space page.

“Auri the renegade angel,” as she calls herself on the popular social media page, claims to be “a witch” and notes that she likes “racehorses … guns, marijuana …” as well as making her son laugh and watching him sleep.  She said she likes “speed” but so much so she had to quit and no longer “f**ks with it.” As well she admits enjoying shocking people to see the look on their faces. She might just be shocking some folks right now.

Although Tineo rambles on her My Space page, she isn’t alone in that respect, it is evident from some of her statements that she is of average or perhaps even above average intelligence. She is in that age range — from 18 to 30 — that FBI statistics say most commit bank robberies. This is, even though, the average yield on a forced withdrawal by armed robbery at a financial institution is upon average less than $5,000.

Tineo was just arrested. She is presumed innocent like everyone else. Above all, I would point that out because police say someone else is likely involved in the crime and when two play and are caught things can become all skewed in the legal process.

But if Aurielle Tineo, self-proclaimed witch, is convicted then perhaps some understanding of her specific reasons for committing a crime with such little chance for success will come to light. Until then, we shall see how things play out in her case.