$1,000 reward offered for bank robber

Friday, November 19, 2010
A sign directs bank customers to another branch on Friday.

Lewisburg Police and the FBI are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the man who robbed First Farmers Bank on Friday.

The bank on Ellington Parkway was robbed of an undetermined amount of money just before noon on Friday by a white man wearing a ball cap and no mask. Calls to help police should be made to 359-3800, or CrimeStoppers at 359-4867.

The bank robber "implied" that he had a weapon, but did not show it if he had one, Police Chief Chuck Forbis said.

This image shows the robbery suspect.

No one was harmed during the robbery, a bank spokesman said.

Forbis said the suspect passed a note to the first teller stating that he had a gun and to give him money.

The suspect fled on foot toward the Wendy's restaurant just north of the bank on Ellington Parkway near the headquarters of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association.

"Video shows the man going from one side of the Wendy's to another," Forbis said of what the restaurant's security cameras saw.

He was at first described as in his "mid to late 20s" by witnesses saying the suspect went in Wendy's south door, stepped through the area in front of the restaurant counter and out the north door.

However, the bank's security video led police to believe he may be as old as 32.

Nearly a dozen police cars were reported to have responded to the scene, a witness said.

Forbis said that a female employee of the bank dialed 9-1-1 and gave a brief description of the suspect to dispatcher Glenn Liggett. The alleged bank robber was described as wearing a camouflage jacket, blue jeans and a white tee shirt.

"Our detectives are here canvassing the businesses and the residences in the area," Forbis said a couple of hours after the robbery called in to 9-1-1 at noon.

Lawmen and women continued to followup on leads Monday.

About three hours after the crime, police were trying to get a description of whatever vehicle the suspect may have used after he crime.

The first lawmen on the scene were Lewisburg Police Officers Larry Hazelwood and Dac Burrow, Forbis said.

A steady stream of customers was arriving at the bank early Friday afternoon and they were being told the bank was closed for rest of day.

The First Farmers branch office's automatic teller machine was still operating, as was the night deposit facility, but other transactions had to be conducted at another branch.

Customers were told that would be in Chapel Hill, although First Farmers has branches in Columbia.

The front door of the branch office here was dusted for fingerprints and photographed by City Police Detective Santiago Mcklean. Also investigating on the scene was Detective James Johnson.

Before branch manager Barbara Capps stationed herself on the porch to tell customers the bank was closed for the day - and to keep anyone from touching the fingerprint powder - Police Sgt. Barry Hargrove put up the crime scene tape at handrails.

The bank branch will reopen Saturday morning, Nov. 20, accordi9ng to a prepared announcement from the bank's headquarters.

FBI Special Agent Brian E. Fazenbaker of the Bureau's office in Columbia was seen consulting with Forbis and shortly thereafter Assistant District Attorney Eddie Barnard arrived at the scene.

Until the investigation is complete, the bank will have no further public comment.

Updates are to be filed as warranted here at marshalltribune.com. A more complete summary with the latest developments will appear in the Tribune's print edition to be distributed on Wednesday.

Tribune news staffers Karen Hall and Clint Confehr collaborated for this story.