Officers still searching for

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 31, 2000

third suspect in bank robbery


Staff Writer

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Law enforcement officers came up empty-handed after searching all day Thursday for a third suspect in a local bank robbery.

At approximately 4:23 p.m. Wednesday afternoon the Regions Bank University Branch on Park Street was reportedly robbed by two gunmen. The two men entered the bank weilding a shotgun and a pistol and left with an undetermined amount of cash while a third suspect waited outside.

Two of the suspects were apprehended Wednesday night and officers had a manhunt looking for a third black male suspect, who was reportedly hiding out in the woods off Good Hope Road.

Troy Police Chief Anthony Everage said the Pike County Sheriff’s Department received a call about a man fitting the description of the suspect being in the area off County Road 25. Search dogs were brought to the scene and a helicopter from the Department of Public Safety was called in to search the area from the sky.

The search was still underway, and no arrest had been made at press time.

He confirmed two Florida men were in custody, but their names had not been confirmed.

Sanders Shirley, who lives on County Road 25, said he spoke to the man officers were looking for when he went out to get his newspaper Thursday morning.

"I’d gone out to pick up my Messenger and he came walking up," Shirley said. "He told me he’d spent the night on the railroad in the rain."

When Shirley first encountered the man, he had no idea law enforcement officers were looking for a robbery suspect because he hadn’t read the paper, yet.

Shirley said he talked to the man for some time and even gave him a drink of water from an outside faucet.

"He said he wanted to get back to Florida," Shirley said, adding the man was carrying a big umbrella and had a knapsack.

Everage said the case is still being investigated by the TPD and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

He expressed appreciation to the sheriff’s department, the District Attorney’s Office, and the Department of Public Safety for assisting in the manhunt.