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Man charged in local bank robbery

An Alabama man in police custody in Tennessee has been charged with robbing a Thomson bank.

sketch.jpg

This is a sketch of the suspect authorities released after the bank robbery.
Special
Robert Jeffery Martin, 32, of Ozark, Ala., was scheduled to be in a Jackson, Tenn., courtroom Wednesday to be arraigned on charges stemming from an accident there in a stolen vehicle.

According to Scott Whittle of the Thomson Police Department, Mr. Martin admitted to the robbery of First Bank McDuffie on Hill Street in Thomson during an interview with Jackson authorities. Jackson Police Chief Rick Staples told The Jackson Sun that authorities "found evidence that would implicate him, and he gave statements that contained admission to the robbery."

Mr. Martin was charged with armed robbery for last week's incident at First Bank McDuffie, Officer Whittle said. More charges could be coming in the bank robbery.

According to Mike Seigler, special agent in charge of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Thomson office, a man entered the bank and produced a note demanding money around noon on Thursday, Feb. 26.

"He received an undisclosed amount of money, and of course left the bank," Agent Seigler said. "They described him as being real calm."

According to Agent Seigler, a witness told police that the suspect was seen leaving the scene of the robbery in a dark colored sport utility vehicle with Virginia plates.

The bank was closed immediately after the robbery took place and remained closed the rest of the day. First Bank McDuffie reopen the next morning.

Mr. Martin was arrested late Monday after the stolen black GMC Jimmy he was driving hit a Ford Mustang, seriously injuring three people while he was attempting to elude police. The chase started in Carroll County, Tenn., when police tried to stop Mr. Martin for a traffic violation.

Mr. Martin was charged with three counts of aggravated assault, the second offense of driving under the influence and the second offense of driving with a revoked license, according to an article in The Jackson Sun. He also has outstanding warrants in Alabama.

Officer Whittle and Agent Seigler, said that they were working with Jackson Police officials to figure out the next step.

"We'll have to coordinate with Tennessee authorities to see how they want to handle it," Agent Seigler said.

Local authorities were not releasing a photo of Mr. Martin Wednesday morning because they planned to use it a photo lineup later that day.



Web posted on Thursday, March 4, 2004


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