Unique 'Cell Phone' Robber Strikes Columbus, Ga., Bank

Man cradling cell phone between ear and shoulder has now struck SouthTrust and Wachovia banks


A man carrying a cell phone robbed a Columbus, Ga., bank Friday, and police think he may be responsible for robbing a bank in October.

The man entered the Wachovia Bank branch at 1000 18th St. at 9:08 a.m. Friday, said Columbus police Lt. John McMichael.

With a cell phone cradled between his cheek and his left shoulder, the man handed a teller a note from his wallet demanding money that indicated he had a gun, McMichael said. The teller then handed him an undisclosed amount of cash and he walked out of the bank.

Three customers were in the bank at the time.

A man wearing a black hat and shirt with a cell phone robbed a SouthTrust Bank branch at 3805 Macon Road on Oct. 27. That robber also had a cell phone cradled between his left shoulder and his cheek.

"It's looking a lot like him," McMichael said.

McMichael said that anyone robbing a bank with a cell phone is usually uncommon, but it hasn't been here lately.

"It's not the norm," he said. "It's become too ordinary."

He said the video surveillance doesn't get a clear picture of his face, but the man has a goatee. The robber was wearing a white hat, a black T-shirt, tan pants, sunglasses and a watch, according to video surveillance.

McMichael said police are setting up more stakeouts near banks and are patrolling some areas more closely to try to dissuade bank robbers.

Anyone with information on the robbery suspect should call 653-3400 at the Public Safety Center.