Bank robbery in Bainbridge Thursday afternoon (UPDATED 4:30 p.m.)




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UPDATED AT 4:30 P.M. Thursday

A man robbed the Family Bank at the intersection of College and Scott streets in Bainbridge on Thursday afternoon, July 16, according to Bainbridge Public Safety.

Ryan "Chop" Harris, 22, of Bainbridge | Photo Courtesy Bainbridge Public Safety
Ryan “Chop” Harris, 22, of Bainbridge | Photo Courtesy Bainbridge Public Safety

Earlier on Thursday, bank employees had called police to report a suspicious person in the bank’s lobby. BPS officers reviewed the bank’s security video and an officer recognized the suspicious person as Ryan “Chop” Harris, 22 of Bainbridge. Harris is allegedly the same person who came into the bank at about 1:40 p.m. and demanded money from a teller.

The robbery suspect fled from the bank on foot. The suspect was described as a black male wearing dark clothing, including a dark-colored hoodie and black shorts. Witnesses saw him running down an alley behind the bank towards College Street.

Two officers who were close by when the robbery was dispatched by Decatur County E-911 were Sheriff’s Investigator Redell Walton and Frank Green, deputy director of Bainbridge Public Safety.

Walton said he pulled up to the bank and soon after found bank bags containing dye packs discarded in the alley behind the bank. According to BPS, the money taken in the robbery was still inside the bags, and the suspect had apparently dropped the bags when the dye packs used to help foil robbers burst open, splattering dye on the bags.

Walton helped BPS officers set up a perimeter in the neighborhood around the bank.

Minutes later, Walton was driving down College Street toward Bainbridge Middle School when he saw a man fitting the suspect’s description. BPS Deputy Director Green was searching for the suspect at the same time and the suspect started running after seeing Green approach. Walton exited his car, shouting for the man to stop, and both officers chased after the suspect.

Sprinting despite the very hot weather, the officers chased the suspect down Nancy Street and Elizabeth Place, two side streets off E. College Street, according to BPS Major Robert Humphrey.

Finally, Walton succeeded in ordering the suspect to lay on the ground at gunpoint. BPS’ Green handcuffed the suspect and led him back to the bank. Walton said the spot where he first saw the suspect running was only about 100 yards east of where the bank bags were discarded.

Officers later recovered a black plastic BB gun from bushes at a residence on Elizabeth Place, and it was identified as the weapon used in the robbery.

Harris was in custody at BPS headquarters on Thursday afternoon and investigators are continuing to work the case, Humphrey said.

Harris will be charged with armed robbery.

The Family Bank in Bainbridge was also the victim of two armed robberies in 2005, both of which were later solved. Redell Walton, who was with the Sheriff’s Office in 2005, also helped capture one of the robbers in the first 2005 robbery after a long, overnight manhunt off U.S. 27 South.

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