Three 2008 bank robberies unsolved

By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The arrest of a suspect in a recent Tupelo bank robbery snapped a string of no arrests in similar robberies dating back three years.
Matthew Maynard, 25, is in the Lee County jail on a $1 million bond in connection with the June 24 armed robbery of Merchants and Farmers Bank on North Gloster Street. He was arrested about three hours after the robbery, according to Tupelo Police Chief Tony Carleton.
Thanks to a quick response by patrolmen and the K-9 unit, the turnaround between robbery and arrest was swift.
But things don’t always go as smoothly. Out of four bank robberies since 2008, Maynard is the only person to be arrested and charged with one.
“Bank robberies aren’t the easiest cases to solve,” said Carleton. “There is a lot working against us. Most of the time the suspects are covered up and people don’t always see how they leave the scene. There are many factors that make these types of crimes difficult to solve.”
Investigator Capt. Chuck Bunn said when it comes to such crimes, time is not on the side of the police. Tupelo has several highways and other exit points that would-be robbers can use as escape routes, so getting on the scene and on the roads quickly are key factors in making arrests.
“Sometimes location plays a big factor in the difficulty of making arrests in bank robberies,” said Bunn. “Traffic in the city at times is very busy and it’s not hard for a vehicle to blend in with the normal flow of traffic. So good eyewitness accounts are very crucial so we can identify vehicles and suspects.”
In the case of the most recent arrest, Carleton said evidence collected at the scene resulted in Maynard’s arrest.
“The patrol unit and the investigative unit as well as the FBI did a great job in getting things done quickly. With these types of cases time is against us, so it’s good we got this one done so quickly,” said Carleton.
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or danza.johnson@journalinc.com.

The three in question
– Feb. 12, 2008 – Regions on Mall Drive was robbed at gunpoint by a white male.
– May 2, 2008 – BancorpSouth on Mall Drive was robbed at gunpoint by a white male.
– July 19, 2008 – Renasant on South Gloster Street was robbed at gunpoint by a white male.
– Police have not said if they believe any of these three robberies were related.