Latest: 11:15 am, 4/13/17, Thursday
SPRINGFIELD — Immigration officials are standing by ready to deport 18-year-old Karla Hernandez back to Mexico after police say she confessed to robbing a Springfield bank in broad daylight.
The defendant’s Facebook page claims she’s from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, a border town directly south of El Paso, Texas. Hernandez attended Blessed Sacrament middle school and spent at least one year at Sacred Heart-Griffin.
Her boyfriend, Kadarvis Sanders, tells WCIA she was here on a work visa, but was unemployed and desperate for cash. The heist could prove to be extremely costly for Hernandez. Her bail is set at $75,000. If she is able to come up with $7,500 and is released from custody before a trial, immigrations officials confirm they will seek an immediate detainment.
If she’s released from local law enforcement for any reason, the ICE detainer asks for her to be held until she can be brought before a judge. Hernandez can request to go before a federal immigration judge on her own, which could delay her deportation. If the judge orders her to be removed, there are a number of appeals which could take up several years, during which time she would remain in custody.
Todd Wise, CEO of the United Community Bank, tells WCIA the defendant only made off with a small amount of cash upon leaving the bank around 8:30am Tuesday morning. Springfield police arrested her without incident later that evening at her boyfriend’s home.
Police claim they recovered most of the stolen money and found the head scarf and other garments she was seen wearing on surveillance video. Investigators obtained a recorded confession.
The Sanders family has retained the legal services of Sean Liles, a criminal defense attorney from Springfield.
On Wednesday, friends of Hernandez were optimistic she might be released on probation because she did not use a weapon at the bank and has no prior convictions.
Update: 10:00 am, 4/12/17, Wednesday
SPRINGFIELD — A woman, accused of holding up a bank, has been arrested. Police say 18-year old Karla Hernandez was taken into custody in the 1300-block of East Washington Street.
Detectives say Hernandez confessed during an interview. Officials say clothing seen on surveillance cameras and a majority of the money stolen were recovered.
Hernandez faces a charge of aggravated robbery.
Original: 1:30 pm, 4/11/17, Tuesday
SPRINGFIELD — Police responded to a bank robbery early Tuesday morning. It happened about 8:30 am, at UCB, in the 700-block of East Stevenson Drive.
A suspect walked in, handed the teller a note and demanded money. The note stated no one would be hurt if the demands were followed. The suspect fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash.
The suspect is described as a woman, white, 5′ – 5’2″, with a petite build. She was wearing a maroon headscarf and purple waist-length, robe-like top. No one was hurt.