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Accused Barnum bank robber was student at FDLTCC

A Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College Dean's List student and 2013 member of the Thunder football team has been charged in connection with a bank robbery in Barnum last week.

Moshood Kayode Olad Alad Itabiyi, 22, was charged in Carlton County Court on Friday with one felony count of first-degree aggravated robbery and one felony count of third-degree burglary. Judge Leslie Beiers granted him a public defender and set bail at $30,000 bond or $3,000 cash. Itabiyi gave his current residence as Coon Rapids, Minn.

According to the criminal complaint filed in the case, last Thursday at approximately 3:30 p.m., officials at Northview Bank in Barnum called Dispatch to report that an individual had just walked into the bank brandishing a handgun and demanded money from the teller. He was described as being a shorter, medium-build black male wearing a greenish jacket with a black hood when he came in to rob the bank.

After taking off with an undisclosed amount of cash, the suspect reportedly fled the bank on foot.

Law enforcement responded immediately to the call and began to search the entire area in an effort to locate the individual, although at that time the description given authorities was still somewhat vague.

Shortly thereafter, a Moose Lake police officer stopped a vehicle, a maroon Saturn, traveling southbound on I-35, just north of the Pine County line. During the brief stop, there was no identifying information that led the officer to believe the individual driving the Saturn had been involved in a bank robbery so the driver was subsequently allowed to continue southbound on I-35.

When other law enforcement personnel arrived at the bank, they retrieved video surveillance tapes as well as still photos of the individual who had robbed the bank and received some additional information from potential witnesses in the neighborhood, who informed officers that a black male matching the description of the bank robber had been seen in the area driving a maroon Saturn.

Officers received additional physical descriptions of the man, as well as information indicating that the robber had stuffed the cash into a peach-colored pillowcase.

At that point, it became clear to investigators that the individual who had been initially stopped by Moose Lake police was likely the one involved in the bank robbery. Law enforcement in Pine County were then given the identity of the individual and a vehicle description.

After a period of time, Pine County deputies located the vehicle and stopped it, identifying the driver as Itabiyi. He was then taken into custody in Pine County until Carlton County law enforcement officials arrived to pick him up.

Itabiyi matched the physical description of the bank robber, and inside his vehicle officers could see in plain view what appeared to be items used in the bank robbery, as well as a hammer and broken window glass.

After Itabiyi was transported back to the Carlton County Law Enforcement Center, investigators and FBI agents met with and interviewed him. During the course of the interview, Itabiyi reportedly admitted to robbing Northview Bank by using a soft air-type replica handgun. He acknowledged stuffing the money into a peach-colored pillowcase that was also observed inside his vehicle at the time of his arrest. He further acknowledged that the replica handgun was still in the vehicle along with the stolen cash.

Officers then secured a search warrant and retrieved the items of evidence and stolen currency.

During the course of the interrogation, investigators learned that after Itabiyi robbed the bank and went back to his vehicle to make his getaway, he realized he had locked his keys in the car. He said he then went to a nearby residence in Barnum and burglarized a garage, stealing a two-pound hammer in order to break the window in his vehicle and retrieve his keys before fleeing southbound on I-35.

Agencies responding to last Thursday's bank robbery included the Moose Lake Police Department, Fond du Lac Police Department, Minnesota DNR, Minnesota State Patrol, FBI and Pine County Sheriff’s Office.

Records at FDLTCC show that Itabiyi was listed as a full-time student from fall 2012 through the 2014 spring semester. During that time he earned Dean's List academic honors, was a running back and defensive back on the Thunder football team, was elected FDLTCC Student Senate president for the 2013-2014 academic year, served as vice president of the American Indian Business Leaders student organization on campus, and was a member of the American Indian Business Leaders (AIBL) team that won first place in the National AIBL competition. He had previously attended St. Cloud State University.

In a previously published Thunder football team roster, Itabiyi’s hometown was listed as Minneapolis, Minn., and the high school he attended was Brooklyn Center High School.

Itabiyi is now set for an initial appearance/Rule 8 hearing at 9 a.m. July 23.