Disguise isn’t effective as bumbling bank robbers get caught
ANDERSON, S.C. – Arraignment is set for Monday for two men, one dressed as a pregnant woman in bath slippers, who were arrested seven minutes after the robbery of a Carolina First bank last week.
The men were stopped after a cross-dresser ran out of the bank with a bag of money exploding with red dye, jumped into a Ford Escort and tried to escape in heavy lunchtime traffic.
”That was the first thing that went through my head – ‘That’s not a woman,”’ said Hal Hunsinger, a nearby Draisen Edwards Music store employee who said he saw a man get out of a Ford Escort near the music store and walk over to the bank.
Hunsinger, who was on a cigarette break, said he saw another man waiting in the driver’s seat. Hunsinger walked behind the car and looked at the tag number. He said he walked back in the music store and wrote the tag number down.
Clint Funk, 20, who was depositing his paycheck at the bank, was standing in line in front of the robber. ”I was thinking, ‘How can this guy be in our civilization?’ ” he said, noting that the man was badly dressed, smelled bad and was wearing bath slippers.
As Funk was depositing his check, he heard running behind him and saw the dye exploding as the man fled the bank.
Three passersby saw the robber running out of the bank with exploding dye and chased him back to the music store parking lot.
That’s when Hunsinger saw the man in slippers running back to the Ford with red dye spilled on him and three people chasing him.
The Ford took off, and Hunsinger gave the tag number to police about a minute later.
Police Lt. Layton Creamer said two suspects were stopped seven minutes after the 11:20 a.m. robbery. One of the men had red dye on him and was dressed as a pregnant woman, he said. No one was hurt in the incident.
The two men arrested, both from Spartanburg, S.C., were 19-year-old Adrain (CQ) Woodruff and 32-year-old Christopher Shippy (CQ, Creamer said.
FBI special agent Jeffrey Newton, who is handling the case, said the maximum sentence for unarmed bank robbery is 20 years in prison. It appeared the robber was not armed, he said.
Creamer had no estimate on the amount of money stolen from the bank.