Published 12:00 am Monday, August 9, 2004
An attempted robbery of the People’s Bank on the Greenville Bypass kept law enforcement officials busy from early Thursday morning until late that night.
The Greenville police were alerted to the robbery when the bank’s alarm system went off.
&uot;We got the bank alarm notification from 911 and officers responded,&uot; said Capt. Wink Fussell. &uot;One of the responding officers spotted a possible suspect running through the Bradley Apartments. They gave chase and caught him between the golf course and Chinese restaurant.&uot;
Fussell said the suspect was immediately taken back for identification.
At that point, the Federal Bureau of Investigation took over the investigation of the attempted robbery.
FBI agents said they were unable to comment on the case Friday.
While the police were able to catch the first suspect within minutes, the other remains at large.
A large-scale effort including search dogs from Holman Prison in Atmore and air patrols were put into place. However, the suspect remained free as of Friday.
&uot;We couldn’t find him,&uot; said Greenville Police Chief Lonzo Ingram. &uot;We used dogs, helicopters, airplanes and everything else, but we couldn’t find him.&uot;
Ingram said it is believed the two were part of a larger operation known throughout the southeast for robbing banks.
&uot;We think there are two groups of them,&uot; said Ingram. &uot;They operate out of Orlando, Fla. and rob banks.&uot;
Ingram said several of the group have been caught and others have been identified.
&uot;Several of them have been taken into custody,&uot; said Ingram. &uot;The one we got yesterday the FBI already had a picture of.&uot;
Many wonder if the pair was involved in the robbery of the People’s Bank branch in Georgiana last summer. Fussell said they could not be sure.
&uot;It’s still under investigation,&uot; said Fussell. &uot;We don’t know at this time. We will look into that in the future.&uot;
Ingram said their involvement would not be ruled out in the investigation.
&uot;It’s certainly a possibility,&uot; said Ingram. &uot;It’s something that will be looked into.&uot;
People’s Bank and Trust Regional President Jim Dunklin said he was very grateful to all that helped. &uot;I’d like to praise the police department, they did an excellent job,&uot; said Dunklin. &uot;Chief Ingram, Anthony Barganier, Wink Fussell and the rest of the department were quick to respond to the situation and they captured one.&uot;
Dunklin also said he believes this was not a local job.
&uot;These were not local people, they were professional bank robbers,&uot; said Dunklin. &uot;We are thankful that no one was injured and thankful our employees handled the situation perfectly.&uot;
Fussell also thanked those involved.
&uot;We had several organizations involved,&uot; said Fussell. &uot;We appreciate them very much. We also appreciate the citizens of Greenville for their assistance yesterday and everything else they did for us.&uot;
Chief Lonzo Ingram would like to thank the following agencies for their assistance Thursday:
The Department of Public Safety
The Department of Corrections
Alabama Game and Fish
Alabama Pardon and Parole
Butler County Sheriff’s Department
District Attorney’s Office
Federal Bureau of Investigations
GEM’s Ambulance Service
Second Judicial Circuit’s Drug Task Force
State Fire Marshall’s Office