Raleigh Man Charged In Bank Incident
Posted May 30, 2001 5:40 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH — A Raleigh man is behind bars after claiming to be the victim of a kidnapping and extortion plot.
What police thought was a bank robbery in progress turned out to be a very different crime.
"It was absolute chaos. We had cops at one bank, then cops at another bank five minutes later. People were not sure what was going on," says Kevin Chilton, who watched what was happening from a nearby restaurant.
Police were not sure what was going on either.
Dozens of officers, some armed with shotguns, surrounded the Central Carolina Bank and Centura Bank branches near Cameron Village just after 9 a.m.
Police say Robert Anthony Phillips walked into CCB and claimed to be the victim of a kidnapping and extortion plot. Someone at the bank called 911.
"The victim of the kidnapping was supposed to be inside the bank and he was there to withdraw money to pay the kidnappers," says Capt. D.S. Overman of the Raleigh Police Department.
Police say that the men who went to the bank with Phillips in a gray Mazda were not kidnappers, as Phillips claimed. They say Phillips owes the men money, and he made up the story to get it.
Phillips is charged with filing a false police report, and with possession of drugs and drug paraphenelia officers found in his car. He is also charged with driving with a revoked license.
Police say Phillips did not get any money from the bank.
At first, police thought they might have two bank robberies on their hands. A witness left CCB and went next door to the Centura Bank to call 911.
There was some confusion when police first arrived about how Centura Bank was involved, but they sorted that out quickly.
Several streets around Cameron Village were closed to traffic during the investigation.