Local News

Fort Bragg soldiers arrested in bank robberies

Posted January 8, 2009 11:08 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT

— 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.

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.