A suspected bank robber’s young children were with her when her vehicle was pulled over at gunpoint by state police early Sunday morning.

Jamilee Kus, 28, of Waterville was taken into custody on the Maine Turnpike in Scarborough around 1 a.m.

Kus is accused of robbing the TD bank branch on Maine Mall Road in South Portland on Thursday night.

Sgt. Steve Webster of the South Portland Police Department said Kus’ children, a girl and a boy, about 10 and 4 years old, were in the white 2000 Ford Explorer that police stopped.

A female friend of Kus’, who was driving the sports utility vehicle, and Kus’ boyfriend were also inside.

They were not charged. But Webster described the driver’s reaction – state police had drawn their weapons – as being “mortified.”

Kus, who surrendered without incident, was being held Sunday night at the Cumberland County Jail on $5,000 cash bail.

She has been charged with Class A robbery and Class C theft. Kus is scheduled to appear in court today. Her children are in her parents’ custody, Webster said.

“We don’t think that either one of them (the adults in the Ford Explorer) had a clue that she had robbed a bank,” Webster said Sunday night.

South Portland Police allege that Kus, who had her long dark hair tied up in a bun under a New York Yankees baseball cap, walked into the bank around 7 p.m. Thursday.

Surveillance photos released to local media made it difficult to determine whether she was a man or woman. She was wearing a gray hooded sweat shirt.

Prior to the robbery, Webster said, Kus had been shopping with her boyfriend, who is from New York City, at the Maine Mall.

Kus told him that she had to run into the bank to get some cash but never mentioned to him what transpired inside.

“We don’t feel he knew what happened,” Webster said.

Though she did not display a weapon to the bank teller, police say she implied that she was armed.

Webster said she left the bank with an amount of cash that he would only describe as being less than $3,000.

Kus was last seen leaving the bank in a white sports utility vehicle – believed to be the same SUV that state police pulled over Sunday morning. Her boyfriend was driving the vehicle at the time of the robbery.

Webster said Kus returned to her home in Waterville on Thursday night before leaving Friday morning with her boyfriend, her two children and a female friend for a trip to New York City.

Webster described her behavior as “brazen and calculating.”

“How many mothers could rob a bank and then get in a car a few hours later and drive their kids to New York?” he asked.

Following the robbery, South Portland police released a surveillance photo and urged the public to contact them with any information.

South Portland Police Detective Chris Todd offered to work Friday night and into the next day in an effort to solve the robbery.

Webster said Todd received about a half dozen tips Friday night from people across the state and country who recognized Kus. Many of the tipsters had lived in Waterville and had met her during their time in that city.

Waterville police also provided Todd with mugshots from a prior arrest.

Investigators placed the mugshot next to the surveillance photo and identified the suspect as Kus.

A criminal records check, conducted Sunday night by the Portland Press Herald, revealed that Kus has a criminal history.

“There’s not a lot there. She doesn’t have a lengthy criminal record,” Webster said. “And this is her first bank robbery.”

According to state records, Waterville police charged Kus with the misdemeanor offense of criminal trespass in August 2011. Details regarding the circumstances of that arrest were not provided.

In February she was charged with violating the conditions of release and was sentenced to serve 48 hours in jail.

Webster said that once police had identified Kus, they were able to track her movements using modern technology. Webster declined to provide details of how they found her.

South Portland police knew she was returning to Maine from New York late Saturday and were waiting for her on the Maine-New Hampshire border.

South Portland police followed her vehicle to Scarborough, where state police pulled the vehicle over.
Webster said authorities have no explanation as to why a mother of two children would rob a bank.

“It is an unusual case because we don’t have a lot of female bank robbers,” Webster said. “We may never know why she did it unless she decides to tell someone.”

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

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