Date: 2004
Name: Ross David O'Connell
Location: Australia
Contact: Crimestoppers 1800 333 000

Crime description

Fugitive armed robbery suspect - Ross David O CONNELL continues to evade capture after a series of violent armed robberies at five major Australian financial institutions in  2004. He is still on the run.     

Disguised in wigs, fake moustaches, goatee beards, and dark sunglasses in a bid to fool staff and law enforcement officials, the 2004 crime rampage, which included an interstate diversion, lasted 29 days from the 27th of September through to the 25th of October.

With Western Australian detectives hot on his trail following the first bank robbery on September the 27th at Bank West in Wembley where he terrified staff and customers at gunpoint, and then again, eight days later at the Commonwealth Bank in Kalamunda on the 5th of October, O CONNELL, in a plan aimed at misleading investigators, travelled to South Australia on October 12th.  There he hired a vehicle and disguised himself before robbing the National Australia bank at gunpoint, his efforts backfiring when a red dye bomb hidden amongst the cash exploded as he escaped, tainting the proceeds.

A return trip to Perth the same day left O CONNELL eager to dispose of the tainted stolen money, successfully exchanging the contaminated notes for clean ones at a Perth Casino. O CONNELL didn’t stop there, continuing the violence  at Bank West in Westminster on the 22nd and the National Australia bank in Mt Lawley on the 25th of October, netting thousands of dollars in cash.

Four days after the fifth bank robbery in under a month, O CONNELL was arrested at the Perth Domestic Terminal after a flight from Sydney, he was charged and released to bail. 

O CONNELL failed to turn up to a later court appearance and has not been seen since.

Last listed as a missing person in 2005, and with 2005 bench warrants issued for his arrest, O CONNELL is likely to have changed his appearance and assumed a new identity to avoid detection.  

An alleged WA armed robber suspected of possibly faking his own death to escape charges also featured on the list. Ross David O'Connell was last seen on 9.30pm on May 27, 2005.    His car was found abandoned three days later at a Trigg beach carpark. Mr O'Connell was facing four counts of armed robbery charges and one count of property laundering.