Bank robber sentenced

Published 4:52 pm Thursday, August 9, 2018

NEW BERN – The second suspect in the Jan. 9, 2014 armed robbery of a bank in Windsor will spend the next 11 years and three months in prison for that crime.

On Tuesday, Michael Rankins, 55 of Edenton, was sentenced to an active prison term of 135 months, followed by five years of supervised probation, for his role in the heist that occurred at Wells Fargo Bank, located on King Street in downtown Windsor.

United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan handed down the sentence after Rankins pled guilty in February of this year on the charges of armed bank robbery and aiding and abetting.

According to Robert J. Higdon, Jr., the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, a co-defendant

Michael Rankins

in the case, William Chadwick Twine, also of Edenton, was sentenced on July 10, 2015 to 90 months imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release.

Higdon said that Rankins and Twine entered Windsor’s Wells Fargo Bank shortly before 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 9, 2014. As he entered the bank, Rankins pulled a toboggan over his face with eye holes cut out. He pointed a BB gun at the teller, and he and Twine threatened the teller and demanded money. The teller provided them with $10,465, and the two men ran from the bank to their nearby get-away car.

Witnesses relayed to law enforcement the direction the suspects had driven, and officers were soon able to catch up to the suspects’ vehicle and attempted a traffic stop. However, the suspects’ vehicle continued to flee at a high speed as it traveled north on old US 17. The driver eventually lost control of the vehicle, which overturned. Both suspects then attempted to flee on foot, but were quickly apprehended.

Officers recovered the stolen money, mask, and BB gun from the car.

This federal case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone.

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Windsor Police Department, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF). Assistant United States Attorney Jake D. Pugh represented the government in this case.


About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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