By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
2 bank robberies still under investigation
Suspects at large
Placeholder Image

Two Hall County bank robberies within a month of each other still remain under investigation.

On April 17, a man robbed the Peach State Bank & Trust in Gainesville.

A suspect described as a white male in his 20s entered the bank at the intersection of West Academy and Washington streets about 1 p.m. and approached the teller.

The suspect handed her a note with his intentions and left in his gray late 1980s Mercury Grand Marquis with an undisclosed amount of cash.

The Gainesville Police Department is still investigating the case, and the suspect is still at large, Gainesville police spokesman Cpl. Joe Britt said.

Britt said they are handling the case locally, but are working with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation because the suspect is believed to be the same man who robbed a Regions bank March 19 in Toccoa.

The GBI is handling the Toccoa robbery.

Less than a month later on May 11, two armed men robbed the Bank of the Ozarks in Oakwood.

Law enforcement officials described the robbery as “takeover-style.”

The two men entered the bank just before 3 p.m. One man jumped the counter and forced two tellers into the bank vault.

The other man forced the remaining employees to the ground.

One customer and six employees were in the bank during the robbery. No one was injured.

Suspects were described as two black males, one 5 feet 11 inches and 180 pounds and the other 6 feet 2 inches and 250 pounds.

The men fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash.

The FBI is working the Oakwood case, but not the Gainesville robbery because “the robber in the Gainesville robbery did not display a weapon,” according to Stephen Emmett, special agent with the FBI.

“These are matters that we are very interested in and respond to, but to manage resources in a post 9/11 era it really depends on the egregiousness of the bank robbery as to whether it’s better suited to go forward locally or federally,” Emmett said. “The FBI chooses to dedicate its resources to armed robberies.”

He said the FBI had no updates on the investigation.

The bureau is working with evidence from surveillance video and witness statements.

“We work with what we have in terms of evidence from these robberies,” Emmett said. “It mostly comes down to bank surveillance photos and witness testimony.”

He said in modern times, video evidence is abundant and officials “often have a lot to work with,” but the robberies happen very quickly.

“These are very fast robberies — they are minutes,” said Emmett. “They’re in and out in a very short time.”

Anyone with information on either robbery is asked to contact the FBI at 404-679-9000 or Gainesville police at 770-534-5252.