Bank customers mistaken for robbers

Monday, April 27, 2009 7:46 PM
Last updated 7:50 PM
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AIKEN – Here’s a banking tip: when making a withdrawal, you might want to keep your weapons at home, especially in Aiken County where several bank robberies have occurred lately.

Earlier today two brothers – one from North Augusta, the other from Atlanta – learned what can happen if you have guns visible in your car in a bank parking lot, even if you’re legally approved to carry them.

Someone just might call police.

“Everybody took it for the real deal,” Capt. Elwell said, adding it was an ultimate example of “Wrong place at the wrong time.”

It all started about 2 p.m. today when Aiken County authorities say they got a report from an anonymous caller of two men with guns and supposedly putting on masks to enter a Bank of America on Edgefield Road in North Augusta.

Swarms of police rushed to the bank.

When authorities got there, they stopped the men from driving away, got them out and onto the ground, then handcuffed them.

Eventually, police learned there were no masks, the guns were legally owned and in their vehicle and the two men were simply trying to make a checking account withdrawal.

Capt. Elwell said his department ended up apologizing to the men, but explained the situation, saying an anonymous caller had tipped them off amid other similar holdups.

“And they understood,” he said.

Capt. Elwell says it probably didn’t help that one of the guns in the vehicle was a civilian version of an M-16. The other weapon was a handgun.

“That’s not something you see your average person toting for self defense,” Capt. Elwell said. “That’s military type arsenal, and to carry it in plain view.”

He said the men were legally transporting the guns, but he told them that next time they might want to consider putting them in the trunk.

“It’s not the smartest idea” having such weapons in plain view in a vehicle while at a bank, he said.

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momofthree
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momofthree 04/27/09 - 08:02 pm
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DUHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! boy that

DUHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! boy that was intelligent of me....lol

baddgf
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baddgf 04/27/09 - 08:02 pm
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Damn..that sucks!

Damn..that sucks!

KSL
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KSL 04/27/09 - 08:22 pm
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In the car, not in the bank.

In the car, not in the bank. Get a clue. Although my reason for not leaving an M-16 in plain view in a car would be that I don't want my car broken into nor my M-16 stolen, if I had one.

KSL
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KSL 04/27/09 - 08:23 pm
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However, I do understand why

However, I do understand why they had the guns in plain sight. It's SC law, isn't it.

cajunnana2000
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cajunnana2000 04/28/09 - 12:35 am
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And the cops were soooo nice

And the cops were soooo nice apologized, and giving them tips on how to stay safe. I just wonder who these fellows were.

justus4
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justus4 04/28/09 - 06:30 am
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This is unbelieveable! Having
Unpublished

This is unbelieveable! Having such weapons not properly secured is extremely reckless and must violate some obscure rule or law. No ~#! charges!? This is not professionalism and was not handled properly. These are the kind of individuals that get innocent citizen hurt. Wow!

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