Local News

Zebulon police: Bank manager stops attempted armed robbery

Posted January 28, 2016

— The manager of a PNC Bank in Zebulon thwarted a robbery Thursday morning when he held a door shut as an armed suspect tried to enter the bank, police said.

The suspect approached the rear door of the North Arendell Avenue branch at about 9:15 a.m., according to investigators.

The manager of the bank happened to be near the back door when the suspect walked up, and he held the door shut while the suspect struggled to open it.

"The manager grabbed the door and entered a little game of tug-of-war," said Zebulon Police Chief Tim Hayworth.

The suspect displayed a small, black handgun during the incident, which he used to hit the door, police said. After a few seconds, the man gave up his attempts and left the bank.

"If the suspect had made it into the bank, you never know what's going to happen then," Hayworth said. "The guy is obviously agitated. He has a gun. It could have been much worse had he made it into the bank."

Hayworth said there is one man to thank.

"I consider the manager a hero and I've already told him so," Hayworth said.

The suspect is a black man with a medium build who stands between 5 feet 9 inches and 6 feet tall. He was wearing a mask, gloves, dark pants, a hooded sweatshirt with a gray shirt underneath, a red scarf or bandanna and black tennis shoes.

After the attempted robbery, Zebulon Middle School was briefly put on lockdown. Parents were notified about the incident through an automated phone call, Wake County Public School System officials said.

Authorities are looking for a small, grey vehicle with black rims in connection to the robbery. The vehicle may be an Eclipse or a similar model sports car.

Anyone with information about the attempted robbery should contact the Zebulon Police Department at 919-823-1818 or call Crime Stoppers at 919-366-2746.

PNC Bank is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest or conviction in the case.


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  • Karen Orndorff Jan 29, 2016
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    Then I just got to thinking he may not be a citizen of Zebulon.

  • Karen Orndorff Jan 29, 2016
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    Yall remember this when the 2015 citizen of the year comes round for Zebulon, he protected his employees and the customers with his own life.

  • Steve Faulkner Jan 28, 2016
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    Does that branch have bulletproof glass in the doors? The manager is lucky he didn't get shot.

  • Jarfaris Brown Jan 28, 2016
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    He'll probably be fired for closing the bank during regular hours, or sued by the robber for discrimination for not allowing a black man to enter the bank.

  • Lynn Brearley Jan 28, 2016
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  • Norman Lewis Jan 28, 2016
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    Unfortunately Jim, you may be right. The bank probably will be upset the manager put the potential robber at risk of injury by making him try to break in instead of walking in. What a twisted world. What if the bank employees were allowed to have guns? This robber never would have even tried.

  • Jim Hinnant Jan 28, 2016
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    Next report will be that the bank manager was terminated by PNC. Write it down.

  • Janet Ghumri Jan 28, 2016
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    Great job for the bank manager! I'm very glad that he (or she?) Wasn't hurt, and was able to send this fool down the road with nothing.