Local News

Three Banks Robbed In Wake County

Posted December 10, 2002 10:55 a.m. EST

— Police are investigating three bank robberies that occurred in Raleigh within 90 minutes of each other Tuesday morning.

Two suspects in the first robbery have been arrested. But three suspects in the other two robberies remained at-large as of 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The first robbery occurred at 10:15 a.m. at the BB&T branch at 4424 Capital Boulevard, the second at 11:15 a.m. at the First Union Bank branch at 6002 Falls of the Neuse and the third at 11:45 a.m. at the BB&T branch at 1806 Hillsborough Street.

Within an hour of the first hold-up, two people were in custody following a chase through northern Wake County and into Granville County.

Three Wake Forest officers and seven Granville County Sheriff's Department officers assisted in the chase.

Arrested were 41-year-old Pamela Aiken of Franklinton and 41-year-old Howard Graham Ball of Franklinton. The two face charges of robbery with a dangerous weapon, as well as several moving violations in connection with the chase.

Police say that shortly after 10:15 a.m., a man walked in to the BB&T branch, implied he had a bomb and demanded money. He left the bank and fled north on Capital Boulevard in a white late model Camaro with a female companion.

Within minutes, Raleigh officers spotted the car traveling north on US-1 near Old Wake Forest Road and dropped in behind it. There were two people inside the vehicle.

Shortly after passing the I-540 interchange, the vehicle began to pick up speed. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol helicopter then joined in the chase north of the Neuse River.

The chase proceeded up Capital Boulevard, including officers from the Highway Patrol, Wake Forest Police Department and Granville County Sheriff's Department.

The suspects turned off Capital Boulevard north of Wake Forest Road. Still trying to flee, they traversed several secondary roads before abandoning their vehicle on Suit Store Road near N.C. 56.

11:15 a.m.: First Union Robbed

In the second robbery Tuesday, two males wearing ski masks entered the First Union branch and demanded money after displaying a weapon.

The suspects fled with an undisclosed amount of money.

A short time later, officers located a late model auto used in the robbery with cash and clothing inside.

11:45 a.m.: BB&T Held Up; Money, Clothes Discovered Near Bank

In the third robbery Tuesday, a lone gunman displayed a semi-automatic pistol in holding up the BB&T branch on Hillsborough Street near Cameron Village and fled on foot.

The suspect took off his jacket and dropped it as he ran from police.

Tuesday's three robberies increased to nine the number of robberies in Raleigh in the last six weeks.

The sudden spike in bank robberies is unusual. During the same time period in Raleigh last year, there was one bank robbery.

"My experience with bank robberies has been that it's very difficult to discern a pattern," said Ed Aycock of the N.C. Bankers Association. "As soon as you say it's one reason or another, the economy, or whatever, statistics will prove you wrong."

Anyone with information concerning these robberies is urged to call the Raleigh Police Department at 890-3555.