Wentzville Man Pleads Guilty to Multiple Armed Bank Robberies and Shooting of Missouri State Trooper
ST. LOUIS, MO—Warren J. Gladders, 64, Wentzville, MO, pled guilty to three armed bank robberies committed in July, August and September 2013. On July 7, 2013, Gladders took approximately $7,000 from the Reliance Bank located in Creve Coeur, Missouri. On August 2, 2013, Gladders took approximately $5,000 from First National Bank located in Weldon Springs, Missouri. On September 20, 2013, Gladders took approximately $43,000 from the First Bank located in Marthasville, Missouri. In each instance, Gladders entered the banking institution and threatened the bank teller(s) while displaying a firearm.
On September 20, 2013, Gladders fled the scene of his final bank robbery in his personal vehicle. Gladders was traveling at a high rate of speed. A witness outside of First Bank observed the robbery in progress. The witness was able to obtain a partial license plate number and description of Gladders’ vehicle. That information was provided to law enforcement officials. A Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper observed a vehicle matching the description and license plate number and followed it. The trooper pursued and caught up to Gladders and his vehicle. The trooper activated his vehicle’s emergency lights and sirens. Gladders eventually pulled his vehicle over. The trooper exited his vehicle and demanded that Gladders get out of his vehicle. As the trooper was exiting his vehicle, Gladders exited his.
As Gladders exited his vehicle, he raised the Smith and Wesson revolver possessed by him and shot at the trooper approximately four times. One of those shots struck the trooper in the center of the trooper’s chest. The trooper was protected by his protective vest. The bullet from Gladders’ firearm penetrated the vest but not the trooper’s body. The trooper was able to return fire. The trooper struck Gladders at least once in the leg. Gladders fell to the ground and the firearm fell out of Gladders’ hand. Gladders attempted to regain control of his firearm. The trooper fired additional warning shots at Gladders — not striking him. Gladders stopped moving at that point. The trooper was able to remove Gladders’ firearm from his proximity and place Gladders under arrest. Multiple law enforcement officials from various agencies responded to the scene. Gladders was taken into custody and transported for medical attention.
Following Gladders’ arrest, search warrants were obtained for his vehicle, residence and business. Among other things, most of the items worn or used by Gladders during the armed bank robberies were located and seized by law enforcement. Furthermore, an officer recovered and seized what is commonly referred to as a “sawed-off shotgun” from inside Gladders’ vehicle.
Gladders entered his plea before United States District Judge Carol E. Jackson, who has set sentencing for October 16, 2014.
Each armed bank robbery charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000. For his use and discharge of the firearm, Gladders is facing a maximum possible penalty of life in prison. In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.
In addition to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, this case was investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Warren County Sheriff’s Department, the St. Charles County Sheriff’s Department, the Creve Coeur Police Department, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, the Jonesburg Police Department, and the Wright City Police Department, along with coordination amongst the Warren County, St. Charles County, and St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorneys’ Offices.