Deputies nab one suspected bank thief

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 13, 2003

This time, it wasn’t quite as easy for Sheriff Jesse Langley and his deputies.

On Wednesday, deputies helped respond to a bank robbery call in Thomaston, and shortly after the call, they arrested Joe Ray Smith, 18, of Greensboro, and charged him with the robbery of Robertson Bank. According to Langley, there is still another suspect at large, though the sheriff’s department does have a suspect.

The Wednesday arrest differs a bit from a similar situation nearly a year ago. In May 2002, the same bank was robbed and Langley was called to the scene.

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The rumor floating around the county about that stop is a bit more sensational. Marengo County lore has it that the bank robbery suspects last year flagged Langley down and asked him for a ride, making for quite an easy arrest.

In the Wednesday, Feb. 5, robbery, Langley said a man entered Robertson Bank in Thomaston and handed the teller a note saying that he had a gun and wanted money.

It is unclear whether or not the suspect actually had a gun, but Robertson Bank President John Northcutt said his employees were "safe and sound."

After the call, deputies heightened security around Thomaston.

The person driving the car, Smith, has been charged in the robbery. He is being held on $25,000 bond in the county jail.

This is the second bank robbery in the area in as many months. On Jan. 7, a man robbed Community Bank in Uniontown. No suspect has been arrested in that robbery.

Langley said he has spoken with the FBI about the two robberies.