UPDATED: Suspected "Black Tape Bandit" makes court appearance

By: Brian Gregory, Rob Pratt
By: Brian Gregory, Rob Pratt

Knoxville (WVLT) - Less than twelve hours after he was caught, the suspected "Black Tape Bandit" made his initial appearance in Federal Court.

Volunteer TV's Rob pratt reports that Travis Wayne Carver, 25, appeared dressed in an Indianapolis Colts T-Shirt and black and white prison issue pants.

Pratt reports Carver has a stocky build, short blond hair and wears glasses.

At today's initial appearance, Pratt reports Carver was very polite, and responded to all questions from the judge with "Yes, sir" or "No, sir" answers. Carver told the judge he has been unemployed since July of 2007.

During the hearing, Carver seemed very interested in the court proceedings, according to Pratt, and turned around several times to make eye contact with members of the media.

The judge appointed a public defender for Carver. he will be held in prison until a detention hearing scheduled for January 18th, 2008, with no bond.

Carver faces two counts of armed bank robbery in federal court. Those charges stem from the two robberies on December 10, 2007, and December 17, 2007, of the Citizens National Bank in the Food City on Morrell.

FBI and Knoxville police say he is wanted in five other robberies including one yesterday at the SunTrust inside the Wal-Mart on Walbrook Drive.

A team of Knoxville Police, Knox County deputies, and FBI agents arrested Carver around 11:00 p.m. Tuesday night after a caller told them he lived at a home on Teaberry Lane near Gleason Drive.

That's in the Briarcliff subdivision, about one mile from the Food City at Morrell he's suspected of robbing several times.

When agents arrived, they found a red Mazda M3 which they believe was used in the robberies located at the address.

Authorities and media referred to him as the black tape bandit because he usually had his fingers covered with black tape.

Carver has a criminal history in Knox County. He was convicted by Knox County Special Judge Donald Bosch in October of 2004 on a manufacture, delivery, sale or possession of marijuana. He was setenced to diversion, but was sentenced to serve one year in jail after his probation was revoked on a theft conviction in 2005.

Carver also has an outstanding theft warrant filed against him on December 3, 2007, just seven days before he was suspected of robbing his second bank, the Citizens National Bank inside the Food City on Morrell.

According to the theft warrant, Carver allegedly pawned a digital camera at a Bearden pawn shop. Inside the camera, a memory card, with photos someone else had taken.

That person, a Sutherland Avenue resident, had reported the camera taken in a burglary a few days earlier.

According to the federal complaint, Carver turned himself in to the Knox County Detention Facility Tuesday morning to answer to an outstanding warrant on an unrelated manner.

The agent who wrote the complaint says he was driving the Mazda M3 when he arrived at the jail. He made bond.

Hours later, he is suspected of trying to rob the Citizens National Bank inside the Food City on Morrell Road. He fled the scene after seeing a security guard. A few minutes later he is suspected of robbing the SunTrust Bank at Wal-Mart.

Neighbors tell Volunteer TV's Lauren Davis that Carver has a wife and a three month old daughter.

Stay tuned to Volunteer TV News and volunteertv.com for more updates on this developing story.


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