Freelancer skips covering Masters practice round to rob bank

By: Diane Cho Email
By: Diane Cho Email

April 3, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---A freelance editor hired by CBS to work during the Masters is now behind bars, on charges of robbing a bank.

It happened just after 9 o'clock this morning at the Wachovia on Gordon Highway.

News 12's Diane Cho was the only reporter on the scene.

Richmond County investigators say Michael Alan Crane walked into the Wachovia bank on Gordon Highway and handed a teller a note demanding money, indicating that he had a weapon.

Investigators say he helped them out by not bothering to disguise himself.

While witnesses say they never saw the weapon, officers say Crane got away with an undisclosed amount of cash and a red dye pack which later exploded in the parking lot.

After an intense search turned up empty-handed, a few hours later investigators got a tip that Crane was staying at the Holiday Inn just three miles away.

"Don't know how much dye was on him," said FBI agent Ed Reinhold. "We did recover evidence which involved him to the bank and the robbery, and he subsequently gave us a statement concerning the robbery."

That's when managers at the Holiday Inn confirmed Crane booked a room on Saturday (March 31) under a CBS account.

Now, instead of a behind-the-scenes pass to the Masters, Crane will be getting his own personal tour of the Richmond County Jail.

Richmond County investigators say 31-year-old Jawone Reginald Bennett and 28-year-old Shelby Lee Wills are also being charged with robbery by intimidation.

Authorities say Bennett and Wills were driving the getaway car, a rental paid for by and registered under a CBS account

Wills and Bennett did not work for CBS.

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