Bank workers chase suspect

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 1, 2007

AULANDER – A man was arrested here Thursday after a chase through town ended up back almost where it began, on Commerce Street.

It began with what some thought was a bank robbery, inciting much involvement among the citizens of the town.

In all actuality, no bank was robbed or even attempted to be robbed, but rather the vehicle of a bank employee was broken into.

&uot;Somehow or another it got out that the bank had been robbed, but it ended up it was just a little chase,&uot; stated Detective Sergeant Ed Pittman of the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident began just past 4 p.m. at Southern Bank on Commerce Street.

Steven Douglas Jemerson allegedly went into the bank and inquired about a savings account.

Bank employees thought he appeared suspicious, so the manager watched him as he left.

According to the police report, Jemerson then crossed the street, opened the back latch of a car and crawled to the front of the vehicle.

&uot;The bank manager recognized the vehicle as belonging to one of his employees, so he summoned the person and they both ran outside and started screaming,&uot; Pittman said.

Bertie County dispatch then received a call from Southern Bank that someone had attempted to steal an employee’s vehicle.

A citizen working on his vehicle on Main Street apparently heard the commotion and saw Jemerson leave the back of the vehicle and take off running.

&uot;He (the citizen) jumped into his vehicle and followed him (Jemerson) all over town. He ended up going onto a porch on Commerce Street and going into a house, which turned out to be his neighbor’s,&uot; Pittman explained.

At some point, Jemerson apparently came back outside and sat on the porch, where he was sitting when Pittman arrived.

Pittman said that he then transported Jemerson to the Aulander Police Department, where he was charged with felonious breaking and entering a motor vehicle.

Pittman expressed his thanks to all who helped with the chase.

&uot;I’d like to thank the citizens of Aulander, a town employee who helped and also the Aulander Fire Department in assisting us and helping us apprehend him,&uot; he stated.

He continued, &uot;Also, thank you to the people at the bank for being so observant. We’re grateful for the concerned citizens in the county who help us out.&uot;

Jemerson, 21, of 612 South Commerce Street in Aulander, was placed in the Bertie Martin Regional Jail under a $2,000 secured bond.

His next court date is set for October 3.