Miami-Dade County

Bumbling Miami bank robbers’ warning shots backfire

Franklin Yamill Cuevas, charged in bank robbery in Miami.
Franklin Yamill Cuevas, charged in bank robbery in Miami. Miami-Dade Corrections

It took a few days, but police finally caught up with a pair of bumbling would-be bank robbers whose warning shots outside a Miami bank backfired — giving an employee inside enough warning to lock the front door.

Unable to get inside, the defeated duo took off, without any money.

“That’s an astute employee,” Miami Police Detective Kenia Fallat said. “He took a chance and ran to the door. He did the right thing.”

A day after last Friday’s attempted heist, one of the men — who told police he was concerned after seeing bank surveillance video of himself on television — turned himself in. On Tuesday, his buddy did the same.

Franklin Yamill Cuevas, 32, was charged with armed robbery with a deadly weapon and discharging a firearm in public. His buddy Kevin Alberto Reyes, 25, was charged as an accessory after the fact. Cuevas remained in jail Wednesday without bond.

Police say it was just before 6 p.m. March 18 when Reyes parked his red, four-door Nissan Altima in front of Region’s Bank at 2800 NW Seventh St. Then, police said, Reyes got out of the car, walked through its glassed-encased ATM foyer and opened the bank’s front door to make sure it wasn’t locked.

At the same time, the affidavit says, Cuevas walked outside the ATM entrance and “pulled out a semi-automatic pistol, inserted a magazine, cocked the gun, and shot three times in the air while standing by the door of the bank.”

While firing his weapon, police said, Cuevas screamed, “This is a robbery, mother...”

It scared the employees and customers enough to dive for cover, police said. But one worker leaped into quick action, locking the bank’s front door while Cuevas was going gangster outside.

Stunned the door wouldn’t open, police said Cuevas backpedaled and jumped into the Altima while Reyes gunned the engine and took off.

Reyes would later explain to police that he was out drinking with Cuevas before they headed to the bank. It was only after Cuevas got out of the car, Reyes said, that he heard the gunshots.

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Police said Reyes told them he was unaware Cuevas had a weapon. “But he did drive off with him after,” an officer wrote in Reyes’ arrest affidavit.

Reyes also didn’t attempt to contact police until he saw his picture on television.