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Fort Bragg soldiers arrested in bank robberies

Posted January 8, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— Fayetteville police filed bank-robbery charges against a set of Fort Bragg soldiers Wednesday for the second time since September.

Officers arrested Pvt. Kali Eloi Robinson, of 19-G Briar Circle, and Pvt. Christopher Bernard Jackson, of 4-H Briar Circle, Wednesday after spotting a getaway car parked outside the men's apartment complex. The GMC Yukon was used as a getaway car in a robbery on Tuesday of the RBC Bank on Village Drive.

Once in police custody, the suspects confessed to a Dec. 22 robbery of the RBC Bank on McPherson Church Road.

Second set of Bragg soldiers implicated in bank robbery Second set of Bragg soldiers implicated in bank robbery

Robinson was charged with two counts each of robbery with a deadly weapon and felony conspiracy. Jackson faces two counts of felony conspiracy and one count each of robbery with a deadly weapon and aiding armed robbery. They were being held in the Cumberland County Jail.

Neighbors said they were shocked to hear the charges against the petroleum-supply specialists in the 82nd Airborne Division.

"My husband is also in the Army at Fort Bragg, and I think it's very terrible that someone would resort to this," neighbor Amber Hawkins.

Both suspects serve in E Troop, 1-117 Calvary, authorities said. Robinson joined the Army in February 2008, and Jackson in April 2007. Robinson is originally from Powder Springs, Ga., and Jackson from Conyers, Ga., two towns outside Atlanta.

Representatives for Fort Bragg and the Fayetteville police declined to comment further on the case.

The two are the second set of Fort Bragg soldiers to be arrested on bank-robbery charges since November. Then, three members of the 101st Chemical Detachment and one of their wives were accused of plotting to rob the Fort Sill National Bank on Yadkin Road on the day after Thanksgiving.

Nationally, the motives for soldiers-turned-bank-robbers varies, according to media reports.

Three Army Rangers helped rob a bank in Tacoma, Wash., in 2006. The alleged mastermind said he did it to draw attention to alleged war crimes he witnessed in Iraq.

A Fort Lewis soldier, Sgt. Christopher Thompson, robbed a Washington bank twice in 2007 to pay off debts before deploying to Iraq. According to news reports, he owed nearly $30,000 in pay-day loans.

In 2007, former soldier Christopher Dwyer wore his PT uniform to rob a bank in Missouri. Police sources say he was mentally ill.

In Alabama, a judge discounted post-traumatic stress syndrome as an excuse when he sentenced a former soldier, Travis Carver, to more than 12 years for a series of bank robberies. Carver served in Afghanistan in 2002.

The Army tracks the kinds of crimes committed by active-duty soldiers, but a representative was not able to get that data.

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  • Methuselah Jan 9, 2009

    "Both suspects serve in E Troop" - they look like a couple "F Troop" rejects to me....

  • HdM Jan 9, 2009

    I wonder how much these soldiers make. In addition to basic pay (increased yearly for inflation), they receive a clothing allowance and free medical treatment (medical costs for family members is a fraction of what civilians pay). If they're authorized to reside off base, they receive allowances for food, housing and utilities. Also factor in bonuses for enlistment, reenlistment and retraining. And don't forget Hostile Fire/Imminent Danger Pay and tax exclusions for income and bonuses received in a combat zone.

    I'm sure that I've missed other benefits, it's been a while since I served.

    FWIW, I'm willing to bet that _these two_ individuals are receiving better pay and benefits in the military than they would in the civilian world. YMMV

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jan 9, 2009

    I agree. These guys are a disgrace to the United States and their family. Send them to prison for a few years.

  • krisandbruiser Jan 9, 2009

    I served twenty years in the military. And I don't regret a minute of it. Yes the pay is higher than when I served but have any of you thought to adjust for inflation? It's still tough to make it on military pay and benifits. I don't agree with them turning to crime at all, it's a disgrace. Soldiers should receive training on financial matters, maybe they do. When I was in you were on your own and if you got in trouble financially, you got little help. Thank a soldier, thank a vet.

  • jimbo141 Jan 9, 2009

    all i can say is these guys are a disgrace to the uniform they wear!!!!

  • aanda8104 Jan 9, 2009

    wa4mjf-Justin, actually, they're overpaid. They're provided food, shelter and medical care.

    Obviously you don't know anyone in the military or you know that is far from the truth. My dad proudly served 25yrs, but I don't ever remember receiving free food, shelter or health care. My parents had a mortgage payment just like you, we had to buy groceries just like you and guess what we had to pay to go to the Dr. just like you. The only difference we got paid a whole lot less to be able to live on. Probably didn’t know this, but 80-90% of the us military soldiers are either at poverty or below poverty, and yet the risk their lives everyday for you to make statement just like this. Next time you see a soldier, sailor or a retired person remember to thank them for allowing you to put them down.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jan 9, 2009

    About 10 years in prison. 3 years for robbing and 7 years for insulting all our armed forces.

  • Bob3425 Jan 9, 2009

    Justin T-- The starting salary of a soldier is little over $1500 per month. This is what a enlistee gets right off the street no training, plus room,board,medical and many more benefits. The money not bad, problem is these young soldier get married before they are ready for it,both maturied and money wise.
    Hazeyc - you should be outraged by anyone commiting a crime, the armed forces/police get their bad apples every other profession.

  • The Fox Jan 9, 2009

    Justin - being familiar with the military in the 50's & 60's - the situation on making ends meet hasn't changed any.

  • turdferguson Jan 9, 2009

    How strong is "Army Strong"? No better way to test it out than a stint in prison.

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