Search on for the "Black Tape Bandit"

By: Rob Pratt
By: Rob Pratt

Knoxville (WVLT) -- The FBI says a single robber is responsible for four bank robberies in less than 2 months, the most recent coming on Wednesday in West Knox County.

According to FBI agents, the robber hit the SunTrust Bank around 11:30 AM in Kroger at Middlebrook Pike and Cedar Bluff Rd.

FBI Special Agent Gary Kidder said he is concerned about what he called an escalation, with the breaks between the robberies getting shorter.

During the SunTrust robbery on Wednesday, the suspect gave the teller a note that demanded money, but the FBI says he did not show a gun.

Authorities believe the same man is responsible for the December 10th and December 17th robberies at the Citizens National Bank inside the Food City on Morrell Road as well as the November 9th robbery of a BB&T.

According to psychiatrist Dr. Dawit Zemichael, the type of person who would frequently rob banks is typically mentally ill or drug dependent, but he might seem perfectly normal if you meet him.

“They are very charming people,” said Dr. Zemichael. “A lot of times that type of person, they may talk to you on the street, very charming and presenting. He may have a normal life and just do this on the side."

The FBI describes the suspect as a white male between 20 and 30 years old.

He is about 5’9, 180 lbs.

During Wednesday's robbery, he wore a ball cap with the emblem covered in tape.

He also had tape on his fingers.

A reward is being offered.

If you have any information, call the FBI at (865) 544-0751.


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