Crime Scene. A surveillance camera captured Peggy Jo Tallas, wearing men’s clothes and a fake beard, during a robbery in 1992.
Cowboy Bob’s Last Ride
The Unlikely Bank Robber was Called ‘Grandmotherly’ and ‘A Kind Lady’…
He wore a Western hat, never spoke a word, and robbed bank after bank. When the feds finally arrested him, they discovered that their suspect was actually a soft-spoken woman. They thought they’d never hear from her again— but she had other plans.
The story of Peggy Jo Tallas, by most accounts a kind-hearted woman who took care of her ailing mother and also had a successful and wild ride as a bank robber.
But Peggy Jo didn’t just rob a bank, According to the FBI, she was one of the most unusual bank robbers of her generation, a modern-day Bonnie without a Clyde who always worked alone…. She was also a master of disguise, her cross-dressing outfits so carefully designed that law enforcement officials, studying bank surveillance tapes, had no idea they were chasing a woman.
She was wild in her younger days, always looking to escape the humdrum for adventure. But as she matured, she had seemed to settle down. Never married, she lived with and cared daily for her ailing mother. No one would have suspected she would be the one to disguise herself as a man, rob lots of banks, and go to jail. Nor would they suspect she’d continue to rob them in her old age.
Outlaws and desperadoes have been giving lawmen headaches as long as there’re been banks to stick-up. There was “Butch and Sundance,” “Bonnie and Clyde,” and “Pretty Boy” Floyd to name just a few.
But it was Cowboy Bob who bedeviled a onetime Texas FBI agent. Bank robbers aren’t keen on having their pictures taken and Cowboy Bob wasn’t showing the bank security cameras much more than a 10 gallon hat, oversized shades, a mustache, and a Santa-length beard.
In the early ‘90s he started knocking off one suburban Dallas bank after another. FBI man Steve Powell and his bank robbery unit saddled-up after the cool-as-can be bandit they dubbed Cowboy Bob.
Cowboy Bob’s M.O. rarely changed. Stroll in, slip the teller a note signaling this was a hold-up—no alarms, no tricks. Then without a word spoken, he’d calmly walk out with the stolen cash.
One time, Cowboy Bob even showed a little flair that might have tickled Butch Cassidy himself. Every time, Cowboy Bob made a clean escape in a burnt orange Pontiac Grand Prix. The license plate— always stolen— changed on every hold-up.
From May of ‘91 to May of ‘92 the 10-gallon bandit, described as a white male, about 5’10”, mid-40’s robbed four banks in the greater Dallas area. He seemed to be grabbing money at will.
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