Originally created 01/04/01

Police seek two bank robbery suspects



The second bank robbery in as many days in the Augusta area occurred Wednesday at a Martinez SouthTrust Bank, but police do not believe the two incidents are connected.

Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said Wednesday's robbery involved a black male in his mid-20s, who entered the 4065 Columbia Road bank branch around 12:45 p.m. and passed a note to a teller demanding money.

Capt. Morris said the teller gave an undisclosed amount of money to the man, who eyewitnesses said was wearing a dark-colored fleece jacket, dark square-rimmed glasses and had no facial hair. The man was last seen leaving on foot toward Columbia Square shopping center.

The robbery followed the area's first bank robbery of the new year, on Tuesday at a south Augusta Wachovia branch when a man wearing a ski mask, also allegedly used a handwritten note to rob a teller. Richmond County authorities have issued a warrant for and were looking for 31-year-old Lewis Stephen Johnson in connection with that incident.

However, Capt. Morris said descriptions of the at-large suspects in the two burglaries differed.

"We haven't totally ruled it out, but at first glance it does not appear to be connected to the Richmond County armed robbery yesterday," he said.

Capt. Morris said the FBI has been called in to investigate.