Bank robber linked to past heists

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 18, 2010

NATCHEZ — Natchez Police investigators have reason to believe the suspect involved in Monday’s Regions Bank robbery could be linked to bank robberies in Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

A white male bearing a resemblance to the suspect caught on surveillance footage in Natchez allegedly robbed two banks in Acadia Parish, La., last month, Police Chief Mike Mullins said Tuesday.

According to reports from the Crowley Post-Signal newspaper, the suspect entered the First National Bank in Crowley, La., approached a teller and presented a note demanding money. However, the suspect left the bank empty-handed.

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Later that same day — July 8 — the suspect entered the Rayne State Bank in Rayne, La., and fled with an undisclosed amount of money. Police in Crowley and Rayne believe the suspect fled the scene in a 2002 Nissan Altima.

The suspect is also believed to have robbed banks in Jennings and Sulphur, La., Ardmore, Marietta and Pauls Valley, Okla., and Fayetteville Ark., beginning March 1. Police in Oklahoma say the suspect fled the scene in a gold or beige four-door vehicle with a sunroof and a rear spoiler.

Natchez Police Lt. Craig Godbold said the suspect follows a strict, timed routine during each robbery.

“He’s in and out of the bank in less than a minute,” Godbold said.

The suspect is believed to be in his 40s with short hair and a medium build. He was wearing a dark-colored baseball cap believed to bear the Miami Heat team logo during the Louisiana and Oklahoma robberies. The suspect was also wearing sunglasses, a dark-colored shirt and cargo-type khaki shorts.

Natchez Police describes its suspect to be between the ages of 35 and 50, and at least 6-feet tall with a medium build. The suspect was wearing a light blue T-shirt, khaki shorts, tennis shoes and white baseball cap bearing the letter “F,” possibly the Florida Gators team logo.

The NPD and the Adams County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the downtown bank branch, 321 Franklin St., at 10:24 a.m. Monday. The bank reopened Tuesday, and investigators will not disclose how much money was taken.

According to witnesses, the suspect did not appear to be armed. No injuries were reported.

Mullins said investigators are in close contact with Louisiana law enforcement agencies and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to find and identify the suspect, who is not believed to be in the local area.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Natchez Police Department at 601-445-5565.