FBI charges 20-year-old in forklift-aided bank vault heist

The FBI has charged a 20-year-old Philadelphia man with helping guide a bank vault containing $104,000 in cash onto a stolen forklift in the mayhem that followed protests over racial injustice on May 31.

Officials say a city officer identified the suspect seen on video based on distinctive arm tattoos, even though he was wearing a long wig.

Federal prosecutors say a crowd of people that included Raphael Shaw had broken into the bank and secured the vault before someone arrived with a shotgun and scared them off.

However, they believe Shaw returned and helped the person on the forklift remove the vault from the back of the Wells Fargo branch in West Philadelphia. Authorities say the forklift had been stolen from a nearby Lowe’s store.

They say Shaw hopped into a Pontiac and drove behind the forklift as both vehicles fled. The FBI says Shaw later posted a photo online of him showing off a wad of large bills.

Shaw appeared in court Friday and is scheduled for a detention hearing on Tuesday. A message seeking comment was left with Shaw's attorney.


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