By Louie Graves
By noon Wednesday, July 27, four persons who robbed the Mineral Springs branch of Diamond Bank were still at large.
The foursome rushed inside the bank together at shortly after 3 p.m. Monday.
Two were brandishing what Howard County Sheriff Bryan McJunkins described as semi-automatic handguns. Two of the robbers were carrying bags. They were caught on the bank’s surveillance cameras as they ordered the bank’s lone customer and two tellers to the floor.
Robbers leaped over the counter and began filling the bags with cash from drawers.
Sheriff McJunkins said that an undisclosed amount of money was taken. It is the policy of law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, that the stolen amount is not released immediately.
The sheriff said that the robbers appeared to be three black males and one black female. They were well-covered by clothing and were wearing bandannas over their faces.
“They were very demanding, not polite,” the sheriff said, adding that they pointed their guns at the people in the bank.
The suspects were in the bank less than two minutes, then bolted to their vehicle in the parking lot. The vehicle was described as a small possibly black sedan with black wheels and heavily tinted windows. They fled west down a Mineral Springs side street.
Bank employees called 9-1-1 as soon as the group got outside, but police arriving on the scene were unable to find the suspects on a search of several possible getaway routes.
Assisting in the investigation and search for the robbers were MS police, sheriff’s department, state police and surrounding law enforcement agencies, the sheriff said. Two agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation came to the scene and are assisting in the investigation, although a criminal investigator from the Arkansas State Police is the lead investigator.
Bank robberies are rare in Howard County. There have been robberies at Dierks and Nashville, and three known at Mineral Springs. Ironically, at the most recent robbery of the MS bank possibly in 2002, the robber, who was armed with a BB pistol, was apprehended by then-deputy McJunkins. All of that money was recovered.