Accused bank robber arrested after catching ride in minister's taxi

By Keith Garvin - Anchor/Reporter

LIVINGSTON, Texas - A simple cab ride ended with an arrest and a lot of officers on scene.

Police said it all started with a Monday morning bank robbery.

Livingston police arrested 34-year-old Thomas Stewart Holcomb for allegedly robbing the First National Bank Downtown Branch at 308 West Church Street.

Holcomb's cab driver was as surprised as anybody.

"He said, 'I'll pay you. I got plenty of money,'" recalls cab driver Kevin Brown. Brown is also a minister at a nearby church.

Brown said he picked up Holcomb at a sandwich shop and Holcomb wanted a ride to the nearby Alabama-Coushatta Casino after a quick trip to the liquor store. Police said it was after Holcomb robbed the bank around 11:30 Monday morning.

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Brown said he knew there was trouble when he received a phone call from his dispatcher.

"We were riding and she said, 'I think he robbed a bank.' I said, 'Oh, Lord. Oh, Lord,'" Brown said. "I said, 'Oh no, Lord, Jesus.'"

A search of Holcomb's criminal past shows convictions for several charges including assault, property theft and organized retail theft.

When police discovered he was in the cab and caught up with him on Highway 190 near Tom Cummings Road, his driver said Holcomb was as cool as cold, hard cash.

"No he didn't freak out about nothing. When he seen that car, I guess he already knew," Brown said. "But they had them guns. So he wasn't trying to do anything."

Police said they were able to track him down from seeing him on surveillance video at the bank and after they located a backpack that had some of his clothing inside.

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