POMPANO BEACH (CBSMiami) – A serial bank robber with a rap sheet that dates back to the 70s was shot and killed in a BSO deputy-involved shooting along I-95 in Pompano Beach Friday morning , according to BSO Sheriff Al Lamberti.
It all began as an attempted bank robber at a Chase bank at 2285 N. Federal Highway around 11:21 a.m.
Authorities have identified the suspect as Michael J. Webb, 56, of Deerfield Beach.
According to Sheriff Lamberti, Webb was a suspect in five bank robberies in Broward County and once served three years in prison for bank robbery. He was also suspected of bank robberies out of the state of Florida.
The suspect, Lamberti said, always wore a ski mask, was armed, and was known as a counter jumper.
“I’d like to ask him why would you do something so stupid,” Paula McFadden asked. McFadden lived in the same building as Web for several months earlier this year. She said he was always willing to lend a hand.
“I hurt my back once,” McFadden said. “He came over and took the garbage out. He did my laundry for me. He was a really nice guy.”
But investigators said that “nice guy” was a serial bank robber with an extensive criminal history.
The Chase bank targeted Friday morning was robbed June 15th and May 10th and Lamberti said investigators believe the dead suspect was the same person who robbed it the first two times.
But when he attempted his heist Friday, Lamberti said, he was stopped by a bulletproof barrier which had been installed after the second heist in June. When he realized he couldn’t get past the barrier, he left without any cash. However, a bank employee and a civilian got a description of his blue Dodge Ram pick-up truck, his license plate number, and called 911.
“I witnessed him with the mask and gloves,” a witness named Patrick said. Patrick did not want to give his last name. “I called 911 and stopped him from robbing.”
When deputies spotted the truck, they started following him northbound on I-95 and attempted a PIT maneuver, a tactic used by police which forces a fleeing vehicle to abruptly turn sideways, causing the driver to lose control and stop. However, the first PIT maneuver was unsuccessful.
A few miles later on I-95 just north of the Copans Road exit, Detective German Bickbau tried another PIT maneuver and it worked. The truck ran off the road and flipped but Dep. Bickbau’s cruiser also knocked down a light pole before it crashed into a sound barrier wall. Two deputies then fired at the robbery suspect, Lamberti said, but Bickbau was not one of those who used his weapon.
The suspect died on the scene. In video from Chopper 4, his body which was covered by a yellow tarp could be seen laying a short distance away from his mangled pick-up truck.
Dep. Bickbau is a 12-year veteran on the force who works in the Pompano Beach District.
A BSO air rescue helicopter landed in the northbound lanes of I-95 and shutdown all lanes of traffic while first responders loaded Dep. Bickbau onto the chopper. He was complaining about pain in his back and abdomen before he was flown to Broward Health Medical Center. He is still being treated and is expected to recover.
The Florida Highway Patrol reopened one northbound lane of I-95 1:30 p.m. Three lanes that are part of the crime scene remain closed, perhaps until 5 p.m.
The FBI is taking over the investigation.
“We’ve been looking for him for eight months,” David Bell with the FBI said Friday. “He has hit numerous banks.”
A neighbor who lives across the street from Webb’s said he was shocked when he heard what happened.
“It’s a pretty scary thought to think that there’s such a dangerous person so close,” Jack Errante said.
Neighbors said Webb had only recently moved in to the home on NE 4 Court from an apartment nearby.
“His life was going good,” McFadden said. “I don’t understand why he did what he did.”