Bank Robbery Suspect on the Loose

By: Summer Knowles
By: Summer Knowles

August 18, 2005

The search continues for a man involved in a robbery of the Wachovia Bank on Emmett St. today. Officials are using surveillance pictures to help in their investigation.

Police are looking for a 5'8 - 5'10 Black male believed to be in his early to mid 20s.

Authorities say he robbed the Wachovia Bank on Emmett St. by gunpoint and got away with an undisclosed amount of money.

"I feel confident that because the description is such a good description that someone either immediately before or immediately after this incident may have [seen] an individual fitting that description and they can share that information with us," comments Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo.

FBI officials and a canine unit were called in to help with the investigation.

Chief Longo says surveillance cameras were helpful in quickly getting an accurate description of the suspect out to units in the area.

"The suspect had a white t-shirt on with lettering that said Phat Farm, p-h-a-t farm, a dark colored baseball cap with lettering on that as well."

Shortly after getting that information, police began detaining anyone in the area fitting the suspect's description.

Charlottesville resident Richard Lee Stinnie Sr. was one of the people detained and says he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. According to Stinnie, police handcuffed him after pulling their guns.

"I feel like my rights were violated," says Stinnie. "My blood pressure [went] up, and I don't know what to do. I'm mad."

Officials say detaining subjects based on reasonable suspicion is standard procedure and because Stinnie was black, with a medium build and was dressed like the suspect, they were within the law.

Police said it is too soon to speculate if today's robbery is linked to other robberies in the area, but they're not ruling anything out.

Police ask anyone with information concerning the bank robbery to call Crime Stoppers at (434) 977-4000.

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