Bank of America ATM Robbery
Overview of incident:
Michael G, an attorney in his 40s,, went to the Bank of America around 7:45 PM on February 3, 2005, to withdraw money using his ATM card. Timestamps on the ATM video showed that it took him 10 seconds to reach the ATM machine from the time he opened his car door.
Shortly after beginning the process of withdrawing money, he noticed “out of the corner of my eye” somebody approaching from his left side. Michael G soon became suspicious of this person when he “noticed [the suspect] looked for a long time, too long in my car which was running…”
Michael G then canceled his transaction and began walking back to his car, right after noticing the suspect shielding his face while walking up to the ATM machine right next to him. He testified that he never looked directly at the suspect while standing next to him at the ATM machine, though.
Right before reaching his car, he then heard the suspect say “drop your wallet”. Turning around, he looked directly at the person for the first time from a distance of 10-12 feet. The suspect made a motion with his hand, which caused him to look at the suspects waist area where he saw the suspect was displaying a handgun in his left hand.
After thinking about it for a couple of seconds, he complied with the suspect and dropped his wallet, after which the suspect told him to “get the fuck out of here”. Michael G then opened his car door and got in while watching the suspect walk away across the parking lot. He noticed a “distinctive” insignia that looked yellow” on the back of the suspects green camouflage jacket as he walked away.
When Michael G was photographed by the bank ATM camera canceling his transaction to return to his car, the timestamp on the photo read: 7:45 PM. After the robbery was over and he opened his car door to leave, the timestamp on the ATM photo read 7:45 PM.
The robbery occurred within a 10 second span that it took him reach his car from the ATM machine, which is the exact amount of time it took him to reach the ATM machine from his car after arriving at the bank.
Michael G’s Statement to Police:
Immediately after being robbed, MICHAEL G drove away and called the police on his cell phone.
Include statement here
Immediately After the Robbery
12 minutes after the ATM robbery, someone used MICHAEL G’s stolen Visa card that was used to make a $12.56 purchase at a nearby 76 station minimart. Attendant Johnny A described to police the person who paid for the items as wearing a camouflage jacket and a ball cap and being “between 5’8″ and 5’10” tall”.
When police returned some months later with pictures of potential suspects, Johnny A was shown pictures of both James Hartley and Ryan. He identified James Hartley’s picture as being the person who paid for the items with the stolen credit card and wearing the green camouflage jacket and ball cap worn by the suspect in the robbery minutes earlier. Johnny A later testified that he had seen Hartley “four or five times” previous to that night, which removed the possibility of a mistaken identification.
Evidence known and unknown to the jury which implicates James Hartley:
- Forensic photographic enhancement using sophisticated computer software, known as photogrammetry, was conducted on the ATM photos six months after Ryan’s conviction. Results revealed the robber in the ATM photos was 5’7 ½” tall (67.457cm).
- James Hartley listed himself on his California drivers license as being 5’8″ tall.
- Photogrammetry results listed Ryan’s height as 5’10 ½’ (70.456CM)
- The margin of error for photogrammetry is 2 mm, or less than 1/10 of an inch.
- Minimart clerk Johnny A identified James Hartley as the person who used Michael G’s stolen credit card 12 min. after the robbery while wearing the camouflage jacket and ball cap shown being worn by the robber in the ATM photos.
- Johnny A testified he had seen James Hartley “four or five previous times”, which reduces the likelihood of a mistaken identification.
- Johnny A’s statement to police on the night of the robbery was the person using the stolen credit card was between 5’8″ and 5’10” tall.
- Robber held the gun in his left hand. James Hartley’s former girlfriend testified he is left-handed, while Ryan’s mother testified he is dominant right-handed in all that he does.
- James Hartley had access to his uncles black pistol, and used it to commit an armed carjacking two days later on February 5, 2005. He was later convicted of that crime and sentenced to 11 years in state prison.
- Elexis Witness testified the person in the ATM photos was her former boyfriend, James Hartley.
- James Hartley often stayed with his uncle, whose apartment was two blocks from the scene of the robbery.
Evidence used to implicate and later convict Ryan Madden:
- Four days after the robbery, detectives brought Michael G two pages of ‘mug shot’ photos with six pictures on each page. He picked out Ryan’s picture from the first page before looking at the second page of photos, which included a picture of James Hartley. An eyewitness identification expert testified the mind is not like a camera and that memory doesn’t improve over time, but actually deteriorates as time passes.