'Office Creeper' indicted for stealing from employees at Richmond Federal Reserve

'Office Creeper' indicted for stealing from employees at Richmond Federal Reserve
Ameenah Franks is accused of gaining access to the Richmond Federal Reserve bank and other buildings to steal from employees (Source: Portsmouth Jail)

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A woman dubbed "The Office Creeper" is now accused of breaching security at one of the most secure buildings in downtown Richmond.

A Richmond grand jury indicted Ameenah Franks, 30, on Monday on four counts of grand larceny at offices across the city, including the Federal Reserve Bank.

The Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney's Office says Franks dressed like a professional, acted like she belonged and then stole from employees in four high-profile downtown buildings.

The Federal Reserve bank has its own security team and the property is surrounded by barricades and fences. Still, police say Franks got inside and stole from several employees on June 11. She is also accused of conning her way into the UPS Freight Building on Semmes Avenue on the same day. Three days earlier, prosecutors say she committed grand larceny at the SunTrust Office Building down the street and also got into the VDOT headquarters. In images released by Capitol Police, they say Franks is caught on surveillance cameras wandering the halls.

She's accused of stealing from at least a dozen people. Prosecutors call it crimes of opportunity, saying she rifled through desks and purses.

Images from Norfolk Police show a professionally dressed woman inside several buildings. Police say the photos are of Franks committing thefts in June in Norfolk, inside major offices like the Norfolk Southern and Dominion Enterprises buildings.

Franks got the name "The Office Creeper" ten years ago. She was convicted of similar crimes, dressing the part and casually walking into supposedly secure buildings in DC and Maryland. She served five years and admitted to more than 30 thefts and burglaries. She got inside the likes of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the US Department of Treasury and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Franks gave a jailhouse interview to the Virginian-Pilot over the summer while awaiting her trial in Norfolk.She says she could help businesses improve their security.

"You'd be surprised to know the buildings I've been in," she said. "Places that are supposed to be protecting us. No one knows what I looked at or what I read in there. If I was a real bad guy, trying to steal intel, I could have done it. I could be useful if they don't lock me away."

Federal Reserve spokesman Jim Strader wouldn't comment on specific security matters, but said, "We continually assess and evaluate our security, making changes as appropriate."

VDOT referred questions to Capitol Police about security changes made since Franks was accused of getting inside. Franks goes on trial in Norfolk later this month. No court date has been set for the new indictments in Richmond.

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