Largest group of bank robbers arrested, FBI says suspects responsible for 34 robberies

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CLEVELAND - The frightening pictures were circulated for months.

The pictures showed masked robbers, holding guns, and jumping on bank counters.

The FBI says the robbers terrorized tellers and customers for more than a year and stole hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"Unless you are the victim of a robbery, you just can't really understand the fear and the intimidation that these individuals presented," said Stephen Anthony, Special Agent In Charge of the FBI's Cleveland Division. "They did this for close to a year and a half."

Anthony says 27 suspects were responsible for 34 bank robberies. 16 of the suspects are juveniles. The suspects are members of the Rack Gang.

"It was this loose confederation of individuals that associated themselves with being called the Rack Gang, they went out and shared best practices, knowing how to steal the cars, knowing how to use the weapons," Anthony said. "This was the largest group of bank robbers in the last many years in the entire country."

The FBI, as well as police officers in Euclid, Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, along with the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office, Adult Parole Authority, and officials with the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, spent months trying to track down the suspects.

"Everyone worked day and night trying to put all these robberies together," Anthony said.

The suspects are behind bars.

"It was very difficult to put it all together," Anthony explained. "It took a while but with everyone working together we were able to do it."

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