Robbery Suspect Nabbed After Crash
An Ohio man wanted for several bank robberies -- including one in Pinebluff earlier this week -- was arrested Wednesday in Hope Mills after a chase and car crash.
Pinebluff police have taken out a warrant charging Terry Ira Nichols, 48, of Proctorville, Ohio, with the armed robbery of First Bank on U.S. 1 on Monday. He is wanted for five total robberies, according to law-enforcement officers.
Nichols is charged with robbing the Lumbee Guaranty Bank on Main Street in Hope Mills at about 10 a.m. Wednesday. Police responded to the scene, and an officer spotted Nichols as he was driving away in a 1995 Oldsmobile.
Pinebluff Sgt. Chris Sanderson said the suspect was wearing the same clothes that he wore while robbing the Pinebluff bank and that he was covered in ink from two different exploding dye packs.
"You have to thank the Lord for people like that," Sanderson said.
Hope Mills police chased the man until his vehicle struck a semi-truck near U.S. 301 and overturned. He was crawling out of the vehicle when police arrived and took him into custody. He had cuts on his head and stomach, and several broken ribs.
Pinebluff police have yet to serve the warrant on Nichols. He is being held in Cumberland County.
"We've got the warrants," Sander-son said. "We're waiting on, kind of like our turn."
Nichols will be charged with entering the bank in Pinebluff Monday and handing the teller a note saying that he was armed and he wanted money.
The teller at First Bank emptied the drawer and the man left the bank on foot. As the suspect made his way behind the bank, a dye pack exploded, covering his left side with characteristic dye.
The Moore County Sheriff's Office and the FBI assisted the Pinebluff Police Department with the investigation. A bank security camera captured several pictures of the robber. The bank had updated its security after being robbed in a similar way in July.
The images showed a white man, about 45 to 50 years old, wearing a green hat and jeans jacket.
A man fitting that description robbed a bank in Raeford later that afternoon.
After the robbery in Hope Mills, another dye pack exploded.
"The one here got his left side and (the one in) Hope Mills yesterday was on his right," Sanderson said.
A photograph from the Pinebluff robbery, run on The Pilot's Web site, ThePilot.com, led to an anonymous tip Tuesday of the identity of the robber. Sanderson said the caller correctly identified Nichols.
"We got an anonymous tip of who it might be from a lady," he said. "She was right."
Nichols is wanted for a bank robbery in Ohio and for robbing a store in West Virginia, Sanderson said.
Nichols was treated for injuries from the accident at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center. He was kept overnight and guarded by police. He appeared before a magistrate Thursday.
Matthew Moriarty can be reached at 693-2479 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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