A steady increase in local bank robberies reached a new height Monday morning when a man allegedly robbed a Belle Meade bank, crashed his getaway vehicle and carjacked a senior citizen, Metro Police said.
Police say a black male in his late 20s or 30s drove to the Harding Pike Fifth Third Bank branch at 9:30 a.m. in a 2006 Chevrolet Equinox. He entered through the front door and — with no weapon visible — verbally demanded money from two tellers.
The suspect fled westbound on Harding in the Equinox that was reported stolen from Murphy Oil Company on Andrew Jackson Parkway in October, police said. A dye bomb placed with the money exploded, apparently causing the robber to veer into eastbound traffic. The suspect collided head-on with a 2005 Hyundai Elantra being driven by Terry Clements, 38, of Nashville. Clements was not critically hurt.
The robber, who is believed to have sustained a head injury from the collision, ran from the Equinox to the Belle Meade Kroger parking lot and attempted to carjack a woman, police said. When that didn’t work, police said he went to a nearby parking garage where a 79-year-old man was walking away from his BMW sedan. After a threat to his life, the elderly man turned over his keys. Using in-car technology the vehicle was located a short time later in an alley off of 37th Avenue North. Police said the car was undamaged and still running.
Based on where the BMW was abandoned, investigators believe it possible that the robber lives in the vicinity of 37th Avenue North and Dakota Avenue.
Anyone with information as to his identity is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at 74-CRIME.