Originally created 06/30/00

Police arrest suspect in bank robbery



After receiving a tip, investigators with the Richmond County Sheriff's Department on Thursday arrested a woman wanted in a Wednesday robbery of the downtown branch of SunTrust Bank.

Kimberly Hale, 20, was arrested at about 3 a.m. at the Suburban Lodge at 707 Scott Nixon Memorial Drive, said Maj. Ken Autry of the Richmond County Sheriff's Department.

She confessed to the crime after early morning questioning by investigators, Maj. Autry said.

According to police, a woman entered SunTrust Bank at 801 Broad St. with her 3-year-old daughter before 12:50 p.m. Wednesday and gave a teller a note demanding money. She had placed her daughter on a bench in the bank before robbing the teller.

The robber neither made mention of nor produced a weapon.

After the teller placed an undisclosed amount of money into a satchel, the robber picked up her daughter and was last seen by witnesses running west on Broad Street.

Ms. Hale's daughter was with her in the motel room at the time of her arrest, Maj. Autry said. The girl was placed Thursday in the custody of Ms. Hale's mother.

Maj. Autry said authorities retrieved money taken from the bank when they arrested Ms. Hale.

Investigators are trying to trace Ms. Hale's steps Wednesday.

A witness said he saw a dark car drop off Ms. Hale at the corner of Ninth and Broad streets before the robbery, but investigators do not know how she would have fled the scene, Maj. Autry said.

The motel room where Ms. Hale was arrested was rented no more than an hour after the robbery, but it was in another person's name, Maj. Autry said.

The man whose name was on the room was being sought by the sheriff's department late Thursday.

Reach Mark Mathis at (706) 823-3227 or marmathis@yahoo.com.