Police Investigate Downtown Mall Bank Robbery

Photo Courtesy: NBC29

Police are investigating a bank robbery that occurred on Monday, January 4th on the Downtown Mall. At 10:58am, Charlottesville police got a call that the Union Bank and Trust on the 400 block of East Main Street, located only a block away from the Charlottesville police station, was robbed by a white male suspect.

A witness told officers that she saw the man standing in front of the bank before the robbery. According to investigators, the suspect is described to be in his late 20s with a thin build, wearing a dark jacket and blue jeans, with a knife hanging from his belt and a mask or nylons over his face. “He did have a knife hanging from his belt, but he did not display the knife,” said Charlottesville Police Lieutenant Steve Upman. “He demanded money.”

A bank teller gave the robber an undisclosed amount of cash that he escaped with. His face was caught on surveillance video before witnesses saw the suspect go toward the Belmont area. Witnesses also claim that the suspect was smoking in front of the bank before the robbery. Forensic detectives combed through trash cans in front of the bank and collected cigarette butts on the sidewalk after the incident.

In a statement issued from bank Spokesman Bill Cimino, he writes: “Everyone that worked at the bank downtown is okay. Tellers are very shaken up. Never a fun experience to have happen. Everyone there is working with authorities to help investigation…” The bank opened for business on Tuesday at normal business hours.

Robbery is nothing new for this Union Bank. In 2013, Richard Nelson Hawkins III, aka Squirrel, was arrested for robbing the bank after reportedly escaping via taxi on South Street and counting the money in the back seat. In 2007, property maintenance inspector with the city Cory Jordan reported a robber when he noticed a well-dressed man wearing a straw hat go in the bank and turn the lock on the door. Jordan called 911 after he saw an employee put his hands up and the robber, Jeffery Alan Adams, was arrested inside of the bank.

Anyone with information on Monday’s robbery is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 977-4000 or Detective Bradley Pleasants at 970-3374.


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