Real Name: Patrick Michael Mitchell
Aliases: Johnny Grant, Paddy Mitchell, Roger Langfeld, Michael Garrison, Richard Joseph Landry
Wanted For: Robbery
Missing Since: December 1987
Details: Patrick Mitchell, the leader of the infamous Stopwatch Gang of Canada, later became known as one of the most skillful bank robbers in the United States. Mitchell was believed to have made off with over $3 million during a 15 year spree of robbing banks. Every robbery he would wear comic masks, such as Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, and Bozo the Clown. In the past eleven years, he has used over twenty-five different aliases.
In 1983, he was convicted of bank robbery and sentenced to 20 years in prison. However, on May 9, 1986, he escaped from prison with Johnny "Salazar" Stewart and another prisoner. The three men were able to escape without setting off any alarms; they changed into civilian clothing and walked off of the facility. A girlfriend of one of the prisoners picked them up, falsely believing that they were free on a weekend furlough. The third prisoner was soon captured in Atlanta, Georgia, but Mitchell and Stewart eluded authorities. It is believed that while they were on the run, the two stayed in motels, planning robberies.
In the fall of 1987, the two escapees began planning a bank robbery in Gainesville, Florida. Mitchell rented a storage unit that had a perfect view of both the bank they intended to rob and the bank's armored car company. He pretended to load and unload boxes while watching the day-to-day operations of the armored car employees. Meanwhile, Stewart was sent into the bank to scout the interior.
At 8:10 am on December 14, 1987, Mitchell called the police and made a bomb threat. This threat distracted the officers in the area of the bank. At 8:22 am, the armored car employees arrived at the bank. The money they deliver increases the bank's deposits to over $300,000. At 8:25 am, Mitchell and Stewart break the glass doors of the bank and enter. They demanded the money delivered by the armored cars. After receiving the money from the tellers, the two leave the bank. Mitchell also leaves behind a bag that he claims has a bomb inside.
The bomb was fake, but it gave the two men plenty of time to escape. In total, they made off with nearly $500,000. Two months after the robbery, Stewart was arrested and charged with armed robbery. He was convicted of the crime and is serving a forty-year sentence. A year after the robbery, Mitchell's Cadillac was found abandoned in a storage facility in Tallahassee, Florida. However, he remains on the run. He has been sighted in Texas, Georgia, and Alabama. Police believe there were two distinct characteristics about Mitchell; that he may be taking experimental medication to retard his aging process and that he is known for being an accomplished gourmet cook.
Extra Notes: The case was featured as a part of the January 23, 1991 episode.
Results: Captured. In 1994, he was arrested after robbing a bank in Southaven, Missisippi and pleaded guilty to two bank robberies. He was convicted of both and sentenced to a grand total of sixty years imprisonment. Mitchell died of lung cancer in prison in 2007 at the age of sixty-four.
- Patrick Mitchell at Wikipedia
- Fast Bank Robber Slows Up in Jail : Crime: Leader of the notorious Stopwatch Gang gets tripped up on an old trick in Mississippi.
- Patrick Mitchell on the FBI's website
- Stopwatch Gang leader, Paddy Mitchell, dies
- Wake held for notorious Stopwatch Gang leader
- Patrick Mitchell at Find a Grave