Expect Arrest in Bank Robbery Soon
Rutherford County Sheriff Damon Huskey said Wednesday morning that he is hopeful of an arrest within the next few days in connection with the daylight armed robbery of The Haynes Bank of Cliffside Thursday at 1:05 p.m. of $62,971.
Several suspects have been questioned, said the sheriff, and evidence thus far points to a person or persons within a 10-mile radius of the bank.
The masked bandit, wearing a dark brown wig and gloves, entered the bank waving a shiny, snub-nosed pistol in the faces of women employees. He carried a large, white bag and demanded help in filling it up after emptying three cashier’s drawers and the the cash drawer at the drive-in window.
Speaking in grunts in an effort to keep his voice from being identified the armed robber demanded that Mrs. Jane Hamrick, assistant cashier, help him empty the bank vault, after commanding Mr. Sandra howard, bookkeeper, and Mrs. Jerene Landreth, teller, to lie flat on the floor behind the teller cages. Cashier Bill Jenkins had just gone to lunch and also out to lunch at the time was Hollis M. Owens, Sr., chairman of the board. Catherine Harris, teller, and Freddie Sisk, bookkeeper. Bank president Paul Bridges was on vacation.
While the robber was completing the job of clearing the safe, aided by Mrs. Hamrick, the chairman of the board entered the bank and sat down at his desk just to the left of the front door. The masked bandit, who had no skin at all showing, approached Mr. Owens, stuck the pistol in his face grunting “down .. down .. down”. The board chairman didn’t understand the command … but was instructed by Mrs. Hamrick to lie down. The bandit was so nervous, however, that he didn’t wait around to see whether Mr. Owens laid down or not. The robber did, however, run into a customer, Roosevelt Hopper, custodian at the First Baptist Church just across the street. Mr. Hopper came in for change, but the robber was in such a hurry to make his get-away that he ignored him.
Owens and Hopper,did however, run to the front door and saw the man getting into a Chevrolet automobile with a South Carolina tag. The car had been parked on a street by the First Baptist Church just off Main Street.
The car believed to have been used for the getaway was found abandoned Friday two miles from the scene of the robbery. It was a white over green 1961 Chevrolet.
Upon returning from lunch Betty Cromer, who was in the bank at the time of the 1961 robbery of some $9,500, was told of the robbery and she promptly fainted and had to be carried home.
Article provided by Jane Robinson Hamrick