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Police search for suspect in second bank robbery

By By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Sept. 19, 2001
Law enforcement officers combed the thick brush along Sowashee Creek on Tuesday searching for a suspect who may have robbed two branches of Citizens National Bank in the same week.
Lt. Wade Johnson, Meridian Police Department spokesman, said Citizens National Bank at 613 22nd Ave. was robbed Tuesday about 1 p.m. He said several customers were inside at the time of the robbery.
The suspect, who fled on foot, was spotted in the Sowashee Creek area of 18th Avenue. Police drew their guns and armed themselves with high-powered rifles as they searched through the thick brush. The search took officers east of the 18th Avenue area and west beyond the North Frontage Road bridge.
Meridian firefighters were also called to the scene to search for the suspect using thermal imaging cameras which detect heat. The department's No. 1 truck was dispatched and its ladder extended so that officials could get a better view of the area.
Johnson said the suspect may be the same man who robbed the 23rd Avenue branch of Citizens National Bank on Thursday.
The suspect in Tuesday's robbery is described as a black man with a stocky build and medium complexion, wearing a dark shirt and pants, a red hat and sunglasses.
Shortly after officers abandoned their search in the Sowashee Creek area, the suspect was spotted again behind the old Sears building on 22nd Avenue.
FBI agents were called to the scene, and the investigation is now being handled by the FBI and the Mississippi Highway Patrol's Criminal Investigations Bureau.
Meanwhile, police continue to search for three men who robbed a Papa John's Pizza delivery man at gunpoint about 10:30 p.m. Monday night.
The victim said he was making a delivery in the area of 19th Street and Eighth Avenue when he was approached by an armed man. The man was joined by two other armed men during the robbery. The suspects fled on foot.
Residents with information about either robbery can call CrimeStoppers at 485-1860.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for the Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3236, or e-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.

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