Man charged in bank robbery

Special
Parker

After a brief chase down Peach Orchard Road, Richmond County sheriff's deputies arrested a man accused of robbing a south Augusta bank Tuesday afternoon.

James Edward Parker, 42, of 1726 Sandlewood Drive, is charged with robbery by intimidation, said Sgt. Calvin Chew. Mr. Parker entered the R-G Crown Bank at 1756 Peach Orchard Road and passed a note demanding money to the tellers, investigators said.

In the note, Mr. Parker also claimed to have "a bomb, weapons and people outside," Sgt. Chew said. Mr. Parker had the tellers fill two pillowcases with money and fled the bank, Sgt. Chew said.

Outside, witnesses said they saw red smoke coming from inside Mr. Parker's truck, which Sgt. Chew said was caused by the explosion of a dye pack hidden in the money.

Mr. Parker was spotted driving south on Peach Orchard Road by a deputy who was in the midst of a routine traffic stop.

The deputy chased him to Plantation Road, Sgt. Chew said.

Mr. Parker pulled to the side of the road and surrendered to authorities.

The deputy found the money and residue from the dye pack explosion inside Mr. Parker's truck, Sgt. Chew said.

Bomb-sniffing dogs were called to inspect Mr. Parker's truck, but no explosives were found, he said.

Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339 or adam.folk@augustachronicle.com.