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2 arrests made in bank robbery spree
Authorities connect men to 4 recent heists
Richard Allen Green

Authorities said they have halted a week-long bank robbery spree with the Thursday arrests of two Murrayville men.

Richard Allen Green, 43, and William Ernest Merritt, 50 were arrested without incident during a traffic stop shortly after the attempted robbery of the Regions Bank at McEver and Mundy Mill Roads, Hall County Sheriff’s Col. Jeff Strickland said.

It was the fourth attempt at a bank robbery in Hall or North Gwinnett in the past eight days, and law enforcement authorities believe all are connected.

A man wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses walked into the Regions Bank about 11 a.m. Thursday and demanded money, Strickland said. When the teller hesitated, the would-be robber ran.

Hall County Deputy Glenn Watson responded to the area after the call was dispatched and spotted a dark blue Dodge Caravan being driven in a suspicious manner while leaving a subdivision on Mountain View Road, Strickland said.

When the deputy pulled the car over on McEver Road, he immediately recognized the driver, Green, as a person pictured in several bank surveillance images from previous robberies.

Green was handcuffed, and it was later determined that his passenger, Merritt, matched the surveillance images from Thursday’s attempted robbery.

The two men are suspected in four robberies or attempted robberies: the robbery of the United Community Bank on McEver Road in Oakwood on May 12; the attempted robbery of a Wachovia in Buford on Saturday morning; the robbery of the People’s Bank and Trust on Lanier Parkway in Buford later that same day; and Thursday’s attempted robbery at Regions.

No guns were shown, no threats were made in any of the incidents and no one was hurt.

Authorities impounded the van and late Thursday were preparing search warrants for the van and the suspects’ homes. No money or guns were recovered Thursday.

Sheriff Steve Cronic credited the capture to the quick action of his deputies.

“I am relieve that the persons responsible for this string of robberies has been captured without anyone being injured,” Cronic said.

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