Murfreesboro bank robbed

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 20, 2003

MURFREESBORO – Two bank robberies in two different states within a two-hour period – are they connected? That’s what local law enforcement officials are attempting to determine.

Shortly after the Bank of Southside Virginia was robbed in Boykins on Wednesday morning, a lone gunman entered Southern Bank of Murfreesboro at approximately 11:43 a.m. demanding money. The suspect description in both robberies bears a striking resemblance.

According to Murfreesboro Police Chief Darrell Rowe, a black male entered Southern Bank from the parking lot adjoining Vance Street. He was described as having a large frame and was wearing a plaid shirt (black and off-white in color), blue jeans and white tennis shoes. His face was covered with a black ski mask. He displayed a black, semi-automatic handgun.

Rowe reported there were no customers inside the bank at the time of the hold-up. However, five employees watched the robbery unfold. Fortunately, none were injured.

&uot;Apparently, the suspect ran into the bank with his weapon drawn, approached the tellers area and demanded money,&uot; said Rowe. &uot;At some point, he leaped across the tellers counter.&uot;

The suspect left the bank with an undisclosed amount of money in a white &uot;grocery-type&uot; bag that he had with him at the time of the robbery. He exited the same door he entered. There was no description of a possible get-away vehicle.

&uot;The bank employees were shaken emotionally by this ordeal, but they acted very professionally and kept their wits about them,&uot; noted Rowe. &uot;They were able to assist us immediately upon our arrival.&uot;

In regards to the robberies in Boykins and Murfreesboro -towns less than 25 miles apart – Rowe is working closely with Southampton County (Va.) Sheriff Vernie Francis.

&uot;The two robberies appear to be connected, but we’re still investigating that possible link,&uot; said Rowe. &uot;I’ve already met with Sheriff Francis and his investigators and we are actively following leads that we developed together.&uot;

Rowe added that he contacted the FBI and an agent was dispatched to Murfreesboro on Wednesday afternoon.

&uot;I would advise all local banks to be on a heightened state of alert until this suspect is taken off the street,&uot; concluded Rowe.

Anyone with information concerning the robbery are urged to immediately contact the Murfreesboro Police Department at 398-4151.