Robbery may be one of many for Catt family
Nov 15, 2012 | 1 Comment
By Ossie Bladine
Of the News-Register
(1:28 p.m. 11/16/12) The Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office officially said Friday that Scott, Hayden and Abigail Catt are linked to the Harris County bank robbery mentioned below in which two males entered wearing painting outfits and wielding pistols.
The Sheriff also said detectives believe the suspects may be connected to five bank robbery cases in the Portland area.
News that Ronald “Scott” Catt, 50, and his children, Hayden, 20, and Abigail, 18, had been arrested last week for robbing a Texas credit union shocked those who knew the former McMinnville family. And details now surfacing suggest it wasn’t a one-time affair.
The McMinnville Police Department and Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office have been working with FBI officials since Scott and Hayden were arrested Friday for holding up at gunpoint the First Community Credit Union in Katy, Texas. Abby, who allegedly drove the getaway car and wore a fake mustache, turned herself in soon after.
As of press time, neither agency was able to provide a statement on the family’s possible broader involvement. But the Fort Bend Star reported Wednesday that the Oct. 1 holdup may have just been one more in a string of robberies committed by the family in the western U.S.
“According to those close to the investigation, there are links to this family and bank robberies dating as far back as 10 years across many western states; more details are expected as the investigation further unfolds,” the newspaper reported. In Texas alone, the paper said, “The Catt trio have been charged with the Cinco Ranch credit union robbery in north Fort Bend County, and are suspects in possibly two more in Harris County.”
The Catts were arrested after a Texas crime stoppers program offered a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the apprehension of suspects. And sources say they are being investigated in at least two other bank robberies in recent weeks in Texas.
One was committed by two white males wearing painters’ masks and jumpsuits. The other was committed by a lone white male gunman wearing a blue workman’s jumpsuit, sunglasses and a distinctive orange cowboy hat.
McMinnville police say they have two unsolved local bank robberies. One was committed Aug. 24, 2006, at First Federal and the other July 18, 2007 at Washington Mutual, now Chase Bank.
Capt. Dennis Marks could not say whether any of the Catts might be suspects in those robberies. But the mere possibility members of the family might have been involved in a series of robberies, local or not, created a sense of disbelief among those who knew them from McMinnville schools and the McMinnville Swim Club.
“It was unbelievable,” said Kathryn Lundeen, who served on the swim club board while Scott was club president.
Both of his children swam for the club, and Hayden went on to star for the Grizzly swim team before graduating from the high school’s McMinnville Arts and Communication Academy. So she knew them as well.
Lundeen said Scott, an engineer who worked for a firm in suburban Portland, saw the club through some troubling affairs.
“He showed a lot of leadership and helped us get through a real difficult time,” she said. “I always respected him for that.
“I liked the guy. He never struck me as being a person who had poor judgment.”
A longtime resident of McMinnville, prior to his recent move to Texas, Scott graduated from McMinnville High School himself in 1980. Those who knew him say he was well liked.
Hayden and Abby, both honor students at Duniway Middle School, were liked as well, according to Lundeen. She said she’d heard rumblings about the kids getting into trouble, but nothing beyond the usual teenage stuff.
The family lived in McMinnville from the 1990s until last year.
Scott’s first wife died of breast cancer when the kids were still young. County records show he had a second marriage that began in 1998 and ended two years later, after his wife was convicted of a domestic assault.
Susan Brentano Schwartz, who graduated with Scott, said she and her family were very saddened by the news. “We’ll always love Scott and his family unconditionally, and we’ll pray that somehow through this situation they recognize the severity and make changes in their lives,” she said.
All three members of the family are being held in the Fort Bend County Jail. The father and son were each booked on $140,000 bond, the daughter on $100,000.
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