It’s been a busy few days for some local law enforcement agencies after three bank robberies
GOLDEN TRIANGLE, Miss. (WCBI) – It’s been a busy few days for some local law enforcement agencies after three bank robberies in a span of four days.
The Trustmark Bank is the third bank in North Mississippi to be robbed since Friday. West Point and Columbus Police Departments were able to quickly capture suspects, and the chiefs that I talked to say that when the community is alert it makes their jobs easier, and their towns safer ..
West Point police were able to arrest a suspect, 26-year-old Isiah Tallie less than two hours after the robbery there. Saltillo Police and the FBI are still looking for the person who robbed the BancorpSouth branch in that town.
Then on Monday January 10, 2021 at 9:15 am Trustmark was hit. This time the police had some help, and they were able to make an arrest in just ten minutes.
“A citizen called us and said they were behind the suspect and was giving us directions to where the suspect was so we were able to locate the suspect and take him into custody,” said Columbus police chief Fred Shelton.
Bank robberies aren’t too common in Columbus, but the department still has a plan in place and this time it worked like a charm.
“We take and surround the area and start looking for suspects with clothing descriptions before we actually go into the bank. once we make sure we have a perimeter set and have an idea who the suspect is then we go into the bank and work from the outside in, ”Shelton said.
West Point Police also have a plan of action when banks are robbed, and it all starts with everybody being on the same page.
“I’ve gone around to every bank and credit union in the city and everybody is on the same protocol so what happens at one happens at the other so we have some type of continuity and instruction when it comes to bank protocol,” West said. Point Police assistant chief Kennedy Meaders.
Meaders said bank tellers are to give the thief whatever money is asked for then when he or she leaves the bank to call 911 and the dispatcher will help them until officers arrive.
Just like in Columbus; West Point police typically don’t respond to many bank robberies, but Meaders said it can be dangerous when you get too comfortable.
“We’ve kind of gotten relaxed and once you get relaxed that’s when stuff bad starts happening so what we have instructed our officers to do is basically still patrol but go inside the banks and talk to the people,” Meaders said.
Both Meaders and Shelton agree that public support is vital to making arrests in any case.
“This is what it takes as a community when we come together and we work together. We see something we hear something we report it to the police and let them know take action. So this is a good day for Columbus when the citizen and the police department work together, ”Shelton said.
Even with those suspects in custody, the investigations in West Point and Columbus are still open. If you have any information about either robbery, call Crime Stoppers or the police.