DENVER (CBS4) – CBS4 has learned that two brothers accused of robbing banks across the Front Range allegedly used a taxi cab as their getaway car without the knowledge of the cab driver.
Vyacheslav “Slavic” Volkov, 31, and Denis Volkov, 19, are dubbed the “Brothers Bandits” by law enforcement. Slavic Volkov has a long rap sheet. They were both arrested last week in Thornton and made their first court appearance Monday.
A 70-year-old cabbie who only wanted to be identified as “Charlie” feels he’s lucky to be alive. He told CBS4’s Tom Mustin that what he didn’t know may have saved his life.
“I am feeling lucky that nothing happened,” Charlie said.
On Aug. 3 in Thornton Charlie picked up the Russian brothers in his Yellow Cab. The so called Brothers Bandits are accused of robbing four metro area banks.
“I wasn’t suspicious that these were bank robbers,” Charlie said.
Charlie unwittingly drove the men while they allegedly robbed a Denver 1st Bank.
“One of them stayed in the taxi and the other fellow went away for 15 minutes.”
Charlie dropped the brothers off at an apartment complex in Thornton.
“It was a $ 70 fair and they gave me $100, all in $5 bills.”
Two days later, now aware of the robberies, Charlie dropped off a woman at a Motel 6 in Thornton. As he unloaded her luggage, the Volkovs jumped in his cab again. Charlie says the brothers didn’t recognize him and appeared to be very nervous. The FBI believes they had just robbed another bank.
“I probably said a couple of things I shouldn’t have, like I said, ‘Do you know there are bank robbers in the area?’ “ Charlie said. “The minute I said that they didn’t say a thing, they went silent.”
At that time a detective called Charlie on his phone. Charlie says the Volkovs became suspicious and asked to be dropped off. They were arrested by Thornton police days later.
As the brothers await their day in court, Charlie is counting his blessings.
“I feel I dodged a bullet. I’m just glad they’re not the type that want to get rid of witnesses,” Charlie said.
The Volkovs are due back in court on Thursday.