Soon after his face was publicly connected to two recent Twin Cities bank robberies, a 36-year-old fugitive turned himself in to authorities.
Anthony M. Rechichi, of Duluth, surrendered at FBI headquarters Thursday in Brooklyn Center, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jon Collins said late Saturday.
Rechichi is suspected of holding up the Hiway Federal Credit Union at Fort Snelling on May 20, and was labeled “a person of interest” in the June 2 robbery of the United Educators Credit Union at 7912 Eden Road in Eden Prairie, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
On top of that, the Sheriff’s Office continued, Rechichi has been charged in connection with a narcotics allegation.
“He is a documented gang member, has a history of weapons violations and assaultive behavior toward law enforcement,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
Investigators say they linked the two holdups to Rechichi, thanks to facial-recognition software that matched video surveillance images from the Fort Snelling crime to his Hennepin County jail mug shot. Once that connection was made, the Sheriff’s Office distributed that information to the news media.
The disclosure that the facial-recognition software pointed its investigators toward Rechichi follows lengthy efforts in court by Tony Webster, a self-employed software engineer who lives in Minneapolis, to compel the Sheriff’s Office to release its e-mail communication about the technology.
Abiding by the court order, the Sheriff’s Office provided Webster access to the e-mails. Webster said in a recent online posting that the e-mails “shine some light on the Sheriff’s current capabilities and future plans.”