UPDATE: Bomb squad disables homemade device after Columbia Co. bank robbery

By: Staff Email
By: Staff Email

News 12 First at Five / Thursday, June 28, 2012

MARTINEZ, Ga. -- Columbia County investigators are on the lookout for a man who robbed a bank and left behind an explosive device Thursday morning.

Cpt. Sharif Chochol from Columbia County Sheriff's Office explained the situation.

"A white male came in the First Bank here at Furys Ferry Road with a note and what appeared to be an explosive device ... He laid the explosive device on the counter and handed the teller a note claiming that it would blow up if she didn't give him the money," Chochol said.

The Richmond County bomb squad was called in and eventually disabled the device.

Now investigators and FBI agents are on the lookout for the robber.

"He left in a white Ford truck. What we are looking for now is a white male, about 5'5'' with a scruffy beard," Chochol said.

Candace Willis works at Jealous Hair Salon next door. She says it was an unusual day at work.

"It was pretty exciting. I loved seeing the guy in the bomb suit ... it was very interesting," she said.

She and her customers were able to watch all the action play out.

"I had a little old lady in the chair and she was like watching ... and we were trying to watch everything," Willis said.

Willis said crews responded to the situation within minutes.

"They said it happened about 10 o'clock, and about eight minutes later, here was the red truck sitting out front. All law enforcement from FBI all the way down ... it was incredible."

Crews disabled the homemade device, but right now, it's too soon to tell what it was.

"Once they get through checking the device and making it safe, they will dispose of it," Chochol said. "They will have to send it off to the lab and see what it was made up of."

Willis says she hopes the man gets caught soon.

"I don't want him running around in the neighborhood," she said.

The man was seen fleeing in a white extended cab F-250 truck with a camper shell.

If you know who he is or have any information, give Columbia County Investigators a call at (706) 541-2800.

Initial report:

MARTINEZ, Ga. -- The Richmond County bomb squad disabled a bomb at the First Bank of Georgia in Martinez on Thursday morning.

A bank teller was handed a note saying there was a bomb in the bank on Furys Ferry Road. He also handed over a homemade device.

The bomb was later blown up outside of the building.

The suspect is a white male with a short/small frame and a full beard. At the time of the incident, he was wearing a baseball cap and a plaid shirt with an undershirt.

He was driving a white extended cab F-250 with a camper shell and was last seen on Vaughn Road headed toward Stevens Creek Road.

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