3 Berrien Credit Union robbers sentencedPublished 11:24am Monday, February 8, 2010
Three northern Indiana men convicted of armed robbery of the Berrien Teacher’s Credit Union in Niles have been sentenced to federal prison for a total of 32 y ears, U.S. Attorney Donald A. Davis has announced.
Travis Lenois Allen, 27, Antiowan Devon Loftin, 26, and Chester Darnell Higgins, 31, are from Elkhart. Allen and Loftin each received seven years in prison, and Higgins received 18 years at their respective sentencing presided over by the Honorable Janet T. Neff. Following their release from prison, all three men will serve five years of supervised release and are ordered to pay restitution. Higgin’s sentence will be served consecutive to his 18-year sentence for another armed bank robbery for a combined total of 36 years.
On the morning of Oct.11, 2007, Allen, Loftin, Higgins and Devarence Kimbrough drove together to the Berrien Teachers Credit Union located at 1501 South Main St., Niles. Loftin dropped off Allen, Higgins and Devarence Kimbrough and the three men entered the credit union. They brandished their handguns and took over the credit union. The employees were gathered in the lobby and forced to lie on the floor while robbers gathered money from the teller drawers and vault. The robbers took just over $207,000 and returned to Indiana.
On Jan. 18, 2008, Kimbrough, along with two other men, Glenn Maurice Porter, 22, and Tavis Lamar Curry, 21, also from Elkhart, returned to Niles and attempted to rob the same credit union. This time the robbers were confronted by an armed security guard. Porter was shot once in the buttocks. Kimbrough was shot twice in the chest and upper body and later died from his gunshot wounds. Porter and Curry were also prosecuted in federal court. Porter was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison and Curry to seven years.
U.S. Attorney Davis commended the outstanding cooperative efforts of the FBI, the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department, Elkhart City Police Department, South Bend Police Department and Michigan State Police, and thanked the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office and the Elkhart County Prosecutor’s Office for their assistance.
The investigation and prosecution of other armed bank robberies remain ongoing. Anyone with any information is urged to call the FBI, the Michigan or Indiana State Police or your county or local police departments. Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Mekaru prosecuted this case.