Authorities arrested a 37-year-old Durham man this week in connection with the series of Wake County bank robberies. Picked up for probation violation, he was later charged with one count of attempted common law robbery and six counts of common law robbery. Common law robbery, in which the suspect does not produce a weapon, is not a felony. The arrest puts an end to North Carolina law enforcement’s search for the man whose unassuming manner made him hard to find.
Police and the FBI called their unknown suspect the Repeat Robber during their investigation into 11 Triangle bank robberies. The Robber’s modus operandi was to walk into a bank, concealing his identity with only a cap and sunglasses. He would hand a teller a note demanding money and, once paid, would disappear into surrounding shopping areas or business districts.
The suspect’s mother told reporters that he had struggled with a drug problem for a long time, that he was still on drugs, and that his drug abuse was the reason he robbed a bank in his home state of Maryland in the 1990s. She admitted that she had not seen her son in years but said that the Wake County crimes were done for the same reason, “Drugs and desperation.”
The Maryland crime earned the suspect a prison sentence of more than four years. He was transferred to North Carolina at some point during his sentence and was release in 1999. Having lost his plumbing business in 2004, he was arrested several times for minor, non-violent offenses. When he failed to check in with his probation officer, that officer issued a warrant. It was that warrant that police were acting on when they arrested him.
Police are hoping to link the suspect to at least five other robberies in the state.
Resource: The News & Observer (Raleigh, NC) “Robbery Suspect Had a History” 10/28/10