Ft. Deposit bank robbed at gunpoint

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 10, 2004

Bancorp South Bank, formerly known as the Fort Deposit Bank, was robbed at gunpoint on Thursday evening, and investigators feel they may now be able to identify the suspect involved.

A local resident and banking customer said he has never known of a bank robbery in Fort Deposit.

"This is the first bank robbery I ever recall in 46 years of banking here in Fort Deposit," said a Mr. Pouncey, who added, "The bank used to be in that yellow-colored brick building next door to where it is now."

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As is the case with all bank robberies, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is heading up the investigation.

"At approximately 1:35 this afternoon (Thursday, January 8) a black male entered Bancorp South in Fort Deposit, and while wearing a mask, showed a weapon to a teller, demanding money," said Sherry Ormsby, supervising senior resident agent for the FBI, assigned to the bureau's Mobile office. "He then went down the line to two other tellers, getting money from them as well. The suspect then left the building via the side entrance, near the drive-in window."

Ormsby said there were no customers in the bank at the time of the robbery, and also that no one was injured during the event.

A local law enforcement officer involved in the investigation said information led him to believe the suspect brandished a "small caliber automatic handgun."

Although the FBI gave no specific information regarding his description, they feel they may well be able to identify and apprehend him.

"We feel that we have good information on a lead for a suspect," Ormsby said. "That is why we are not releasing a physical description of the suspect at this time."

Fort Deposit Police Chief James Gulley said his department was dispatched by phone.

"We received a call from the bank's alarm company, based in Birmingham," Gulley said. "The caller stated that a holdup alarm had been activated at Bancorp South."

Within a few minutes Gulley and his department's investigator were on the scene at the bank, and shortly thereafter deputies from the Lowndes County Sheriff's Department also arrived to assist with the investigation."

Five agents from the FBI were on the scene within an hour of the robbery.

"We would like to ask anyone in the community to call us if they have any information regarding this robbery," said Chief Gulley. "They don't necessarily have to give their name."