Black Tape Bandit: Timeline of events

By: Rob Pratt
By: Rob Pratt

Knox County (WVLT) After two months and a half dozen bank robberies, FBI agents believe they have arrested the black tape robber.

Volunteer TV's court reporter Rob Pratt has more on how an unrelated warrant, a pawned gun, and the suspected getaway car helped lead the feds to their man.

Think about this, the FBI already suspects a man in a string of bank robberies.

That man, identified as 25 year old Travis Wayne Carver comes to jail and turns himself in on an unrelated theft charge, just hours after allegedly robbing another bank.

Knowing all that, the FBI lets him be released on bond.

Only to arrest him again a few hours later.

Mike MacLean, with the FBI says, "he didn't appear to expect us or anticipate us coming to arrest him but he was fully compliant when he was arrested at his apartment."

When you hear the whole story, it's easy to understand why Travis Carver may have thought he was through dealing with police, hours before he was apprehended last night.

The day began with a huge break.

MacLean continues, "through the media, through you guys placing this individuals picture out there, a Knox County Sheriff's Office deputy recognized this individual and believed him to be, possibly the robber.

After that another bank was hit.

The black-tape robber again.

This time the SunTrust inside Wal-Mart.

Sort of the clincher for us was the vehicle identification. At the last robbery we were able to obtain pretty good surveillance video of the bank robbery get-away vehicle and we were able to match, in fact, Mr. Carver had a vehicle that was pretty much identical."

The FBI had also learned that on January 2, Carver pawned a handgun similar to one used in a robbery.

He left behind a copy of his driver's license and thumb print.

Court records also indicate that a teller at Citizen's National Bank picked Carver's photo out of a photo lineup, identifying him as the man who robbed the bank on December 10th and 17th.

Still, the FBI let Carver walk away from jail around 5 p.m. yesterday, free on a one-thousand dollar bond in an unrelated theft case.

MacLean says, "the decision was actually made to allow him to proceed with that, and that provided us an opportunity to observe his vehicle, to observe him, to observe his clothing all within hours of the robbery."

MacLean says agents used the time to take a very close look at Carver's car.

After he drove away, MacLean says Carver was under close scrutiny during those six hours before his arrest on bank robbery charges.

He's jailed without bond, at least until a hearing next week.


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