A bank teller tipped off her boyfriend and another accomplice in the run-up to a violent robbery, reportedly texting a “go signal” to the men to initiate the cash-grab, according to reports and court documents.
Shelby Wyse appeared in court Wednesday after being arrested and charged with second-degree felony robbery, police said.
Wyse was working at the Wallis State Bank on Aug. 17 when the female victim, who has not been identified, took out $75,000, ABC 13 reports the Constable’s office as saying.
The woman was delivering the cash to her family’s business, KTRK in Houston reports. Surveillance footage shows the two other suspects in the case—Travonn Johnson and Davis Dowell Mitchell—ganging up on her, and the woman fighting fiercely back against the pair of thieves. As the fight continues, another man, who KTRK reports is the victim’s husband, attempts to help her. Both victims get beaten before one of the suspects backs up over them with a car.
The woman and her husband were taken to the hospital, and she’s in critical condition following the incident.
"She was followed from the bank to the business by these two robbers who drove in separate cars,” Mark Herman, a spokesman for the Harris County Constable Precinct 4, told KTRK.
Johnson was identified over the weekend as the suspect who drove up to the robbery in a black 2018 Chrysler 300, according to ABC 13. Law enforcement then utilized the surveillance video to read the Chrysler’s license plate number. The car was determined to be registered to Budget car rental, ABC 13 reports, adding that Wyse was the leaseholder and video shows her renting the vehicle.
Further, prior to the robbery, Wyse can be viewed on video watching the victim retrieve the cash. That’s when Wyse allegedly sent Johnson a text message that officials believe functioned as a tip-off signal to begin the robbery, according to ABC 13. Johnson and Wyse are reportedly dating.
Wyse claimed the vehicle was stolen the morning of the robbery, prosecutors said, but she never filed a police report about it going missing, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Now, prosecutors are aiming to procure a search warrant in order to go through Wyse’s phone and read the alleged “signal” text, according to ABC 13. Authorities say they did, however, find messages on Mitchell’s phone that talked about a heist with someone referred to as “Tata,” who a witness said was Johnson.
Meanwhile, Johnson and Wyse's connection goes back until at least May 2017—and it doesn't appear to be solely romantic. Court records show that the Harris County Pct. 7 Constable's Office charged Johnson with assaulting Wyse on May 1 and once more on May 16, according to The Chronicle. Johnson allegedly shoved Wyse into a pool and "gouged her right eye" with his finger during the first assault, while on May 16 he was accused of putting his hands on her and also breaking her nails.
Authorities on Friday apprehended Mitchell, 31, while Johnson turned himself in on Monday. Both men have been charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon.
Police say they are looking for more people involved in the crime.
“All the pieces to this investigation are falling into place and we anticipate filing more criminal charges on others we believe to be involved,” Herman said in a statement posted to the precinct’s Facebook page. “No one will escape justice on this matter.”
[Photo Credit: Mark Herman, Harris County Constable Precinct 4/Facebook]