Serial bank robbery suspect arrested after robbing Bank of Bartl - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Serial bank robbery suspect arrested after robbing Bank of Bartlett

The suspect, 31-year-old Robert Thomas Shantz. The suspect, 31-year-old Robert Thomas Shantz.

(WMC-TV) - A serial bank robbery suspect wanted in at least five states was arrested Friday after police said he and another man robbed a Bank of Bartlett branch.

The suspect, 31-year-old Robert Thomas Shantz, is accused of bank robberies in multiple southern states.  Police said the Georgia cab driver was finally caught soon after the armed robbery of the bank on Highway 64 in Cordova.

"I don't think the cops would have gotten him if it wasn't for me, to be honest with you," said a self described "40-year-old good citizen" who only identified himself as Mike.

Mike pursued Shantz and another man in his car after police said they robbed the bank at gunpoint just before 4:00 p.m. Friday.

"They both had bags in their hands," said Mike.  "I knew something was up.  I tried to block them in and he got around me and I jumped in front of his truck and he pulled a pistol on me."

Mike stayed on the phone with 911 as he followed the suspects toward Highway 385, where Memphis Police and sheriff's deputies eventually got them to stop.

"I don't know, just the right thing to do," said Mike.

Memphis Police said they do not encourage anyone to do what Mike did.

"It's good to be a good witness, jot down what you see, give us a call," said Lt. Col. Frank Garrett with the Memphis Police Department.  "But actually chasing a suspect or following is not something we recommend."

Mike said he was near the bank to get ice cream at Baskin-Robbins.  Employees said the suspects stopped there to get ice cream before the robbery.

Police identified Shantz's alleged accomplice as a man named Johnny Harris.  Both will appear before a federal judge on Monday.

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