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Trustmark branch robbed; suspect nabbed

Vicksburg Police Chief of Detectives Mark Culberton, left, and Sgt. Virgil Woodall stand over an unidentified bank robbery suspect on Hayes Street this morning. (Jon Giffin The Vicksburg Post)

[3/30/04]A branch bank in Vicksburg was held up at mid-morning today and police had a suspect in custody minutes later.

The Trustmark branch on Mission 66 at Grove, was robbed by one man at 9:38 a.m., police spokesman DaVon Grey said.

The arrested suspect was trying to hide behind a parked Vicksburg Warren School District bus on Hayes Street about 50 yards south of Clay, Grey said.

Police said the man was refusing to give his name.

“He ran to this location and was captured by police,” Grey said, adding that the entire chase, from report of the crime to capture of the suspect, took 2 to 3 minutes.

The arrest scene was about a half-mile from the bank, on the street between Lakeview Funeral Home, formerly Glenwood, and Auto Zone. “We’re having to backtrack to determine his path,” Grey said.

Detectives were still trying to determine whether any money was taken or whether a weapon was displayed. A knife was taken from the suspect or near him while he was being taken into custody.

Bank personnel provided a description and the suspect was wearing at least one article of clothing that matched. “We found a jacket matching the description” at the scene of the arrest, Grey said.

Police swarmed to the scene after the dispatch and later to the arrest site. For the remainder of the morning, details of the case were being gathered.

“Detectives are interviewing bank personnel and also any witnesses who may have been at the bank at the time,” Grey said.

He added that the FBI had been notified of the robbery, as is standard for bank robberies, and agents were en route to Vicksburg.

Another man was briefly detained near Mission 66 north of the arrest scene. That man was released at that scene and was not a suspect in the bank robbery, Grey said.

There have been two bank robberies and one attempt in Vicksburg since April 2003.

The attempt was in April 2003 when a man and a woman attempted to rob Britton & Koontz First National Bank, 2150 S. Frontage Road. They apparently fled before they could take any money.

The first robbery was at the RiverHills Bank, 2125 N. Frontage Road when a man gave a teller a note demanding cash and claiming he was carrying an explosive device. After he fled the bank, local law enforcement officers began looking for a red Nissan 300 ZX. Not long after the robbery, the car was spotted in the parking lot of Isle of Capri Casino.

With the help of agents of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, the Vicksburg Police Department arrested Christopher S. Watson, 37, Corsicana, Texas.

In January, a robber took an undisclosed amount of money from the Trustmark National Bank Branch on U.S. 61 South. That case remains open with no arrests reported.