Authorities have released a description of the vehicle associated with the person of interest sought in the July kidnapping and extortion at SmartBank in Knoxville, an incident that is believed to be connected to a similar one at Y-12 Federal Credit Union in Oak Ridge in April.
The vehicle is described as an early 2000s, powder blue/grey, Ford Taurus, with damage on the front passenger side bumper, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a Wednesday morning press release.
The person of interest was observed in the front passenger seat of this vehicle on July 1 in the vicinity of Swathmore Court and Dunwoody Drive in Knoxville.
The vehicle pictured in the photo above is of a similar make, model, and color of the vehicle that was observed, the FBI said.
Authorities are seeking information to help identify the person of interest, who is pictured in a sketch at left.
The previously released composite sketches also include two subjects involved in the Y-12 kidnapping. (The two subjects are pictured in sketches below.)
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to the identification and arrest of the subjects who committed these violent crimes.
Here is a summary of the two incidents:
On April 28, 2015, at approximately 8:15 a.m., a Y-12 Federal Credit Union employee and his family were kidnapped from their residence and held hostage at gunpoint. While the family was held hostage, the employee was coerced to attempt to remove money from the Y-12 Federal Credit Union, located at 501 Lafayette Drive in Oak Ridge. After the robbery, the employee’s family members were released unharmed at the Gettysvue Country Club parking lot in Knoxville. The suspects fled and remain at large.
On Tuesday, July 7, 2015, at approximately 8 a.m., a SmartBank employee and his family were kidnapped from their residence and held hostage at gunpoint. The employee and his family were taken to the SmartBank at 202 Advantage Place in Knoxville. While at the bank, the employee was coerced to remove money from the bank, which was provided to the robbers. The employee was then left at the bank and his family was released unharmed a short time later at the end of Pipkin Lane in West Knox County. The suspects fled and remain at large.
The investigative agencies are exploring the possibility that these two events are related, based on similar subject descriptions and a similar method of operation, the FBI said.
This matter is being investigated jointly by the FBI, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, and the Knoxville Police Department as part of the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, as well as the KPD Violent Crimes Unit, the KCSO Major Crimes Unit, and the Oak Ridge Police Department.
Anyone with information that may lead to the identification or location of the individuals depicted in the composite sketches, or any information that may be pertinent to these two crimes, should contact the Knoxville FBI Office at (865) 544-0751.
Here are larger sketches of the person of interest and two subjects sought by the FBI:
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