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'Interstate bandits' hit Raleigh bank, FBI says

Two men who robbed a Raleigh bank Thursday are wanted in a string of eight bank robberies in four states since early May, FBI agents say.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Federal agents said two men dubbed the Interstate Bandits robbed a bank on Capital Boulevard Thursday morning.

Two men entered the First Citizens Bank, 4801 Capital Blvd., around 10:15 a.m., said Raleigh Police Capt. H.C. Miller.

“They jumped the counter. They forced the clerks away from the counter,” Raleigh Police Sgt. J.D. Sherry said.

The robbers moved fast grabbing money out of tellers’ cash drawers. The men shoved some people in the bank, but no one was injured, federal agents said. The unmasked robbers did not use weapons or threaten violence against anyone.

The men ran from the bank, but police believe they later got into a vehicle to flee the area, Miller said. Officers recovered some of the stolen money in the bank's parking lot.

Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Charlotte office were probing the robbery.

Investigators said these two men are the so-called Interstate Bandits, wanted for a string of seven other bank robberies spanning four states. The robberies all occurred at banks near interstates.

The first robbery was May 8 in Virginia. Other robberies occurred in Huntersville, N.C., on May 23, and Chattanooga, Tenn., on June 3.

On June 6, investigators said the suspects hit the SunTrust Bank in Cary using the same formula – rushing in and jumping over the counter.

Cary Police Sgt. Randy Byrd said the suspects were “in and out in a very short span of time.”

Investigators said the two hit a bank in Hoover, Ala. on June 10 and three days later stole money from a bank in Richmond, Va.

The First Citizens Bank, which was robbed Thursday, lies between Interstate 440 and Interstate 540.

In a June 24 robbery in Concord, one man also jumped over the counter in a First Citizens Bank and physically forced tellers to give him money.

FBI agents warned that the men are becoming increasingly violent with each robbery.

Raleigh police described them as two black men between 25 and 30 years old, with a medium build.

One robber wore a long-sleeved, white T-shirt and blue jeans. The second wore a long-sleeved, collared shirt with brown and yellow stripes, along with blue jeans.

Witnesses out of the First Citizens Bank said the suspects may be in a white or silver Honda mini-van.

Anyone with information about these cases should call Crime Stoppers at 919-266-2746, the Charlotte FBI Field Office at 704-377-9200 or call 911.