Observant bank employee busts serial robber, police search for accomplice

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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - A bank robbery suspect was arrested moments before trying to rob a Meridian bank Tuesday afternoon. Police are now searching for the suspect’s accomplice.

Police say 33-year-old Charles Richey entered the Woodforest Bank at Walmart with gloves and a bag.

“He was in the bank. They found a note in his pocket where he was getting ready to rob the bank,” Captain John Griffith says.

Griffith says the bank had the descriptions of the suspect and the employee immediately recognized him and called police. She stalled Richey by saying the computers were down. In surveillance footage the officer can be seen detaining Richey.

“She recognized him from a flier as being the suspect. Finding the note on him verifies that he was the suspect and what his intentions were,” Griffith says.

Police are now turning their attention to 50-year-old Russell John Shelton. They believe he is the mastermind behind the robberies, which include a Woodforest Bank in Cullman, Alabama and one Tuesday morning in Clinton.

They say Shelton was in a Mazda 626 in the parking lot waiting on Richey and decided to leave his partner in the dust when police pulled in.

The tag number on the silver car reads: D-A-C 8-5-7-1 and is from Desoto County. Authorities believe the plate has been switched.