Scott Catt was a typical US dad. He encouraged his two teenage children, Hayden and Abby to follow their dreams and the value of hard work. He often took his children on family vacations, and cooked dinner for them every night. Scott worked during the day as a structural engineer and often spent his off hours attending his children’s swim meets. No one knew that Scott Catt was living a double life.
After losing his high school sweetheart and mother of his two young children to breast cancer, Catt’s life began to fall apart. He started drinking heavily, and after a tumultuous second marriage Scott checked into rehab. During this time Scott began facing financial troubles and was forced to move himself and the children in with his mother.
Scott became desperate for cash and began thinking of alternative ways he could make money quickly. Scott’s father, a former banker, once told Scott how the branch he worked for had been robbed one day. When Scott asked why no one tried to stop the robbers he learned that the bank would eventually get the money back, because it was insured. A light bulb turned on in Scott Catt’s mind that day, what if he robbed a bank?
After dropping the kids off for school the next morning, Scott obscured his face with a painter’s mask and sunglasses, then made his way into the First Federal bank in McMinnville, OR and demanded the teller to fill up a bag with money. Scott made off with around $2,500 that day. Later that night the local news showed a grainy picture of the perpetrator. His own mother even commented how the person in the poor quality photo resembled Scott, but he just laughed it off.
Scott was never apprehended for the first robbery. Falling behind in bills, Scott decided to try it again. Robbing another small bank in Oregon, Scott raked in close to $1,500. Although Scott was making $25 an hour as a structural engineer, he was believed to have robbed at least three other banks in Oregon and making off at least $5,000 to $10,000 each time.
For what would be his last robbery in Oregon, Scott decided to let the cat out of the bag and tell his son Hayden his secret. That morning Hayden sat down with Scott at the family’s breakfast table like usual. Scott told him how he had been robbing banks and wanted Hayden to join him in order to bring in a bigger haul. The plan was for Scott to be the one barking orders and scaring the employees, while Hayden would be the one collecting the loot in the bag. At the last minute Hayden backed out, but when Scott pulled off the job and came home unscathed, Hayden realized that maybe he could get away with it too.
In 2012 Scott had lost his job and relocated the family to Houston, TX. Hayden began talking to Scott about pulling off another robbery, convincing him that it would be necessary for Hayden to have money for college. Scott agreed, but wanted to secure a getaway driver. Hayden walked into Abby’s room that night and told her everything. Abby agreed to be the driver, while Hayden and Scott would do the dirty work.
The scheme worked as planned. Scott and Hayden went in for the money, while Abby sat in the car keeping watch and radioing through a walkie-talkie when it was time for the guys to get out of the building. Jumping into Abby’s car, they sped off and ditched the disguises. After getting back to their modest apartment, the family was ecstatic to see they got away with nearly $70,000 this time.
Scott paid off his bills, bought both the kids cars, a motorcycle for himself, then spit the money up between himself and the kids. Life was good for the Catt family and they had gotten away with yet another robbery without the slightest bit of suspicion. By October the family had spent all of the stolen money, so naturally they began plotting out their next hit.
Noticing construction crews near the bank that would be their next target, Scott had the kids purchase a couple of orange vests and a fake mustache. Again Scott and Hayden entered the bank, this time disguised as construction workers, while Abby waited for them. Just as before Abby radioed the guys when it was time for them to get in the car, and drove off. The haul was not quite as large as the previous heist, less than $30,000, but enough for Scott to make due. Abby told Scott she wanted out, but Scott begged her to stay onboard. As the family was preparing for their next robbery, Johnny Law finally came knocking.
Local detectives on the case noticed that the vests Hayden and Scott had been wearing during the previous heist looked brand new. Tracking down the store that sold that style of safety vest, surveillance footage showed the two Catt children purchasing the vests the morning before the robbery. The debit card used to purchase the vests was tracked to none other than Scott Catt. Police took the Catts into custody for questioning.
Once Scott was sat down with law enforcement he broke down and came clean about everything, including the banks back in Oregon. Hayden and Abby also admitted to their involvement with the robberies. With the Catts confessing to everything, it was an open and shut case. Scott said in his defense “I did it for the family… I would only rob banks for my family”. He claimed that even though he brought a gun in while the robberies were occurring, it was never loaded, and since the money was insured the banks weren’t really out anything. In Scott Catt’s mind, robbing banks was a victimless crime.
Because of their full cooperation with investigators the family was offered plea deals. Scott would receive 24 years in prison for being the “mastermind” of the operation; Hayden would receive 15, while the jury felt sympathy for Abby and sentenced her to only five years. The family hopes to eventually put it all behind them and upon Scott’s release, reunite as a normal family again.