Reward offered in Ahoskie bank robbery

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 6, 2006

AHOSKIE – A reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of a suspect wanted for robbing RBC Centura Bank here Wednesday morning.

The North Carolina Bankers Association of Raleigh has posted a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of individual involved.

Meanwhile, the Ahoskie Police Department and the FBI continue to investigate the robbery, one which occurred at approximately 10:11 a.m. on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh traveled to Wilson where he used the services of Rodney A. Dancy, a forensic analyst, to retrieve still photos from the bank’s surveillance cameras. Those photos verified eyewitness accounts of the suspect’s description n a black male of medium build and weight, wearing a white “Gilligan” style hat (with brim all the way around), a long-sleeved blue and white shirt (with vertical stripes), tan pants and black boots. The photos also confirmed the fact that the suspect wore latex gloves and a mask covering his nose and mouth.

The camera’s first glimpse of the suspect came when he entered the main lobby. A handgun is evident in his right hand. A second photo shows the suspect crawling on the outside edge of the teller’s counter while a third was taken after the suspect had leaped to the floor.

“We are in the process of closely studying these photos, and others, in an effort to pick up some small detail that will be useful in our investigation,” Fitzhugh said. “We are also in the process of collecting additional information concerning events leading up to and following the robbery.”

Fitzhugh urged anyone with information, no matter how small, to call the Ahoskie Police Department (252-332-5011) or the FBI office in Elizabeth City (1-800-209-2293).

The police report said a black male entered the east side door of the bank shortly past 10 a.m., jumped on the teller’s counter and demanded money. His request was obliged as he left the bank, through the same door, with an undisclosed amount of cash.

He was last seen leaving the bank parking lot on foot.

One eyewitness offered information that the suspect was seen prior to the robbery heading towards the bank from South Catherine Street.

The Ahoskie Police Department was notified of the robbery at 10:11 a.m. They quickly converged on the area (the bank is located at 102 North Church Street) and sealed off the parking lot. Adjacent streets were closed moments later.

Launching a manhunt, the Ahoskie Police n aided by the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office and North Carolina Highway Patrol n searched the general area near the bank. The Ahoskie Fire Department set-up a command post for the law enforcement officers to use during their on-scene investigation.

A tracking dog from the Gates County Sheriff’s Office picked-up a scent from the east side door, following it to an area on South Street behind Basnight’s. There, the dog lost the scent.

Following nearly four hours of investigation at the scene, the bank reopened for business at 2:30 p.m.

Ahoskie Police Detective Sgt. Jeremy Roberts and FBI Agent Dan Snow are heading-up the investigation.