Four men wanted by police for Jacksonville bank robbery - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Four men wanted by police for Jacksonville bank robbery

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JACKSONVILLE - AL -

Jacksonville police are searching for four men who robbed Wells Fargo bank Friday morning.

Officers responded to an alarm at the Pelham Road branch around 9:15, but the bank robbers were already gone.  Chief Tommy Thompson said investigators soon found their getaway car abandoned nearby on Church Avenue.

"It was reported stolen yesterday to the Gadsden Police Department," Thompson said.  "We had witnesses saw them get out of the car and get in the other car, but didn't pay attention to what the other car was."

Thompson said one of the men served as the crew's driver while the other three went into the bank.

"I was standing in line about 9:15, and I heard a ruckus behind me and I turned around and three black males ran in," Wells Fargo customer Lee Valentine said.

"They had ski masks on, one was real tall and the other two were short and they pointed guns--automatic guns--they pointed at us and told us all to get on the floor, which we all did," she said.

"After we got on the floor, they wanted to get in the vault but there wasn't anybody to let them in the vault.  They kept saying 'if y'all don't want to die, just give us some money.' 

"With three guns pointed at you...you just do what they tell you to do.  You think you do this that and the other when you get in a situation like that, but believe me you don't.  You do what they say and you walk away alive," Valentine said.

She was relieved the men left her and the other customers alone.

"I had $200 in my hand and when we got on the floor, it was right there.  They could see it but they didn't take it.  And nobody got hurt, thank God.  When I was on the floor, I was praying, God get us through this," she said.

Valentine said she will return to the bank when it reopens Thursday, and although she expects to be a little anxious, she is sure she will be alright.

Investigators are reviewing surveillance video from the bank and also checking security systems from other businesses in the area to see if they can identify any of the four men or their vehicle.

"We have a feeling based on some other robberies that have happened, it's probably started in Gadsden and end point will be in the Atlanta area," Chief Thompson said.

This is the first bank robbery in Jacksonville in at least three years.  The FBI is involved in the investigation, and Thompson said he also hopes to receive assistance from the U.S. Marshal Service.

"We're confident we'll get this case solved.  May take a few days or weeks, but the more folks involved in something like this, the more somebody's going to talk," he said.

Wells Fargo is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the men.

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