Police nab suspected bank robbers in minutes
BANK ROBBERY Law enforcement officials were called to the scene of a robbery at Great Southern National Bank at Bonita Lakes Mall Circle about 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday. Bank officials locked the doors and posted this sign while the law enforcement officers investigated. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
July 31, 2002
Three Meridian men remained behind bars today after a daring robbery of a Meridian bank on Tuesday.
Chased by police, suspects threw cash out of the window of a getaway car shortly before they were captured on 26th Avenue only minutes after police got the robbery call.
Meridian police arrested Gerald O. Laird, 31, of Highway 13 North, Prentiss, for the robbery. He remained in the Lauderdale County jail today on $50,000 bond.
Laird's apparent accomplices, Fredrick Moore, 25, of 1924 26th Ave. and Ricky Deshun Thomas, 19, of 2419 32nd Ave., were arrested as accessories after the fact and were being held on $30,000 bond.
Meridian police say Laird entered Great Southern National Bank at Bonita Lakes Mall about 10:15 a.m. and demanded money.
Lt. Lee Currie of the Meridian Police Department, said the suspect "presented himself as having a weapon,"but no witnesses reported seeing one.
With money in hand, Currie said, the suspect then fled the bank in a waiting getaway car, a white 1994 Buick.
Police Chief Benny DuBose said he is proud of his department's quick work.
The timing was also good for a witness driving on 20th Street who recovered the cash suspects threw from the car.
Andy Gay, of Lake, was driving east on 20th Street when he saw the speeding car and what he said was a "wad" of money being thrown out of the car's window.
Police arrested the three men in their car at the corner of 20th Street and 26th Avenue a block away from where Gay found the money.