UPDATE: Bank robbery inside Knoxville grocery store

By: Mike McCarthy
By: Mike McCarthy

Knoxville (WVLT) - All robbers have sticky fingers, but a Knoxville serial bank robber's literally may be stickier than others.

The FBI says Friday morning, the Black Tape Bandit robbed the Citizens National Bank in the Northshore Drive Kroger.

Volunteer TV's Mike McCarthy has the story.

The Black Tape Bandit got his nickname by wearing black electrical tape during the robberies. The FBI's linked him to five in less than two months. Now they're stuck finding the robber with sticky fingers.

Five bank robberies.

"It is a crime of violence," said Gary Kidder from the FBI.

Police say one bank robber.

"This is the fifth time this individual robbed a bank in the area," Kidder said.

Knoxville Police say that individual struck Friday morning.

"At approximately 10:34 am we had a white man enter Kroger here on Northshore. He walked up to the Citizens National Bank counter," Knoxville Police spokesman Darrell DeBusk said.

When he does, the FBI says the robber's got black electrical tape stuck on his fingers.

"Probably to protect from leaving finger prints on the notes or on the counter," Kidder said.

Giving him the nickname the Black Tape Bandit.

"It's the first time I've seen that particular method. People use all sorts of methods to do what they think will keep us from catching them," Kidder said.

The bandit's also blacked-out ball cap logos in past robberies.

"Today he wore a black hooded sweatshirt and very large sunglasses," DeBusk said.

The feds say he's linked to a bank robbery at BB and T on Northshore Drive in November. Plus two robberies at The Citizens National Bank branch on Morrell Road in December and another December robbery at the Suntrust Bank branch on Middlebrook Pike.

"In recent years 90 percent of the people we've caught and have been able to talk to admitted that they were robbing banks in order to get money to support a drug habit. That could be what's involved here," Kidder said.

The FBI says his sticky-fingers will get stuck.

"Here in Knoxville of the 32 bank robberies this year, he's, so far, the only one that remains unidentified," Kidder said.

Now authorities are asking for your help.

"To get ahold of someone like this and make the danger go away," Kidder said.

For now that danger's sticking around.

The FBI also needs your helping finding this man - He was seen near the Suntrust Bank at the time of that robbery in December. The FBI says he's not a suspect or fugitive, but he could have information about these robberies.

If you any information, call the FBI at 544-0751. The FBI says the Black Tape Bandit didn't show a gun during Friday's robbery, but he has in a previous one.


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