Marshall County offers big reward in search for bank robbers

By Anna Marie Hartman - bio | email

BARTON, MS (WMC-TV) - Marshall County investigators are sparing no expense for clues that lead to the arrest of some brazen armed robbers.

"We've got the cash if they've got the information, and we want to get to the bottom of these robberies just a soon as possible," said criminal investigator Kelly McMillen of the Marshall County Sheriff's Office.

The latest crime happened Thursday at the Citizen's Bank in Barton, where male and a female wearing frightening masks walked into the bank around 10:00 a.m. with guns drawn.

After looking at surveillance video, McMillen believes the suspects are young.

"You can see that they're very athletic," he said, noting that a suspect leapt over a counter at the bank.

The robbery bears a striking similarity to a similar crime that happened in May at the Sladen Bank in Lamar, Mississippi.  There, the suspects also leapt over a counter, only this time they covered their faces with bandanas.

Another similarity: they brought handcuffs with them, but in Barton, never used them.

"The clerk actually talked them out of it, which is great," McMillen said.

Tracy Davidson, president and CEO of Citizens Bank, said the robberies were stressful for everyone.

"This is very trying on the employees, and very trying on their families," he said. "It's even trying on the people in the community."

Investigators are now wondering if the guns used in these crimes were the same guns stolen last month from a nearby pawn shop.

"It's really scary that those guns are still out there, and we've heard nothing about them," McMillen said.

Investigators have pictures of the getaway cars in both crimes.  In Lamar, a Red Kia Spectra.  In Barton, a silver or gray, early 2000's model Pontiac Grand Prix.

Crime Stoppers and the Marshall County Sheriff's Office are offering $15,000 total in rewards for clues that lead to an arrest and conviction:  $5,000 for the robbery of Ed's Pawn Shop, and $5,000 each for the robberies of Sladen Bank and Citizen's Bank.

If you have information, call 1-800-729-2169.

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