Back in July of 2009, two men wielding semiautomatic weapons robbed the Monroe County Community Credit Union in Temperance, Michigan. Because they wore ski masks, hooded sweatshirts and gloves – witnesses could not identify them.
The robbers took what they came for, hopped into a car driven by a third person, and then booked it. Ultimately they came away with just over $5,300.
In an effort to get as far away from the scene of the crime as possible, the robbers went from Michigan to Ohio. Eventually, they ditched their vehicle in the driveway of some Toledo home – a different Toledo home than where it was originally obtained. Then they made their big mistake.
After being oh so cautious and careful up to that point, the robbers ran into a secluded area and stripped off their clothes. Unbeknownst to them, they had been followed. A concerned driver had tracked and reported them to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.
Over the course of their investigation cops found, as noted by the Detroit News, “a trail of articles leading from the car into the woods. Among the items were latex gloves, a black mask, industrial gloves and a Footlocker T-shirt.”
And that’s when things got really bad for the robbers.
Presumably due to this crime’s severity, the FBI got involved. Using their various resources, they matched DNA from the Footlocker shirt, one of the masks and one of the gloves to a Mr. Quentin A. Sherer. Because he had been convicted of five bank robberies prior to this latest incident, his information was on file.
How about the others, though? Well, FBI found at least one of their DNAs, too; unfortunately those guys' information wasn’t on record.
What happened next is the stuff of great detective stories. In an effort to locate the others, FBI officials began to look for Sherer known associates. Via Myspace, they noticed him hanging with a Mr. Martin Tucker.
Tucker, as the Detroit News put it, had “physical characteristics seemed to match that of one of the robbers.”
Unfortunately, because they didn’t have his DNA – the FBI couldn’t see if it matched what was found on the discarded clothing items.
Enter: Special Agent Robert Schmitz.
Schmitz, a 23-year FBI vet, knew that he would have to get creative to obtain Tucker’s DNA. After doing a bit of digging, he learned that his person of interest was a fighter with a bout coming up this year.
On Apr. 28, Tucker earned a unanimous decision victory over Devarise Clayton. The win came at a price, though – Clayton had dinged him up over the course of the match. And in the process of cleaning up their guy’s bloodied nose, Tucker's corner discarded a Q-Tip swab containing the missing puzzle piece that Schmitz had been looking for all along.
You can probably guess what happened next.
Tucker’s DNA matched the DNA found on the clothing items, and the DNA on the getaway’s car’s steering wheel.
On Tuesday, he was arrested and charged with robbing a bank and using a firearm during a crime of violence.
Tucker racked up 10 losses over the course of his career – but none of them was as costly as his last win.