It was an inside job
One of six suspects in the Brinks truck heist, which turned into a parking lot shootout, was an employee of the bank and was at work at the time, police said Thursday.
At a press conference Thursday, High Point police released more details in the July 25 daylight robbery of an armored truck that was delivering money to the Oak Hollow branch of SunTrust bank on Eastchester Drive.
After three weeks, detectives arrested six men in connection with the robbery. One of the men, Ahmed Ali, 28, of Banbridge Drive, High Point, was working as a personal banker at SunTrust during the time of the robbery.
The remaining five men are from Greensboro.
The six men have been charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery. They are in the Guilford County Jail in High Point.
During the past three weeks, investigators with High Point and Greensboro police and the FBI worked together on the case.
A fingerprint from one of the vehicles linked to the crime led to the arrests, police said.
“One of our investigators found a latent print in the van, gets a name and gets it confirmed. Once we realized that the men we were focused on were in Greensboro, the department there put in just as many man hours as we did,” said High Point police Chief Marty Sumner. “We kicked off our surveillance at midnight and, once we were sure that they were at these homes, we were able to execute the search warrants and pick up these people simultaneously.”
The search warrants turned up money, both real and counterfeit, several guns, fraudulent IDs and credit cards, and a stolen motorcycle.
“All the items seized (Wednesday) are still being looked at and evaluated,” Sumner said.
The robbers staged a brazen theft from the armored truck in the SunTrust parking lot the afternoon of July 25. The suspects fled in a hail of bullets with a bag of money that held $55,000.
Police said the men robbed two armed Brinks guards as the guards were unloading money from the armored truck.
The men were armed with two handguns and a shotgun. Police recovered the shotgun later at the scene. At some point during the robbery, the Brinks guards shot at the men. The men did not return fire and were not injured.
The suspects jumped into a white Dodge Caravan and quickly crashed into the fence behind the bank on Countryside Drive.
Police believe the robbers jumped out of the van, which was stolen in Greensboro, and into two waiting sedans that were parked on Countryside Drive.
Sumner admits that the robbery was well-organized, but added that when numerous people are involved in such a crime, the more likely something will go wrong.
“There was a distraction call made before the robberies occurred. It was placed reporting a robbery at a different place, but it was clear that it was an attempt to direct us in another direction,” Sumner said. “Then the real calls started coming in. We were able to send officers in both directions to clear up what was going on. They stole the getaway car, had the switch car ready, had mask and gloves. They had a very thorough plan, teamwork wise, but the more people who know about something, the likelihood of someone else outside of the circle knowing about it multiplies.”
Police say the men also have been involved in three to five robberies in Greensboro, including July 7 and July 15 Food Lion robberies. The other five suspects, all from Greensboro, include:
• Hassan Ali, 25, of Saint Luke Court;
• John Griffin, 19, of Mobile Street;
• Kelvin Jacobs, 24, of Highland Avenue;
• Hassan Hassan, 21, of Colson Street;
• Rodney Allen Frazier, 25, of Cheltenham Boulevard.
Hassan Ali received a bond of $1.5 million and Griffin a $1.25 million bond. Jacobs, Hassan and Fraizer each received bonds of a $1 million. Ahmed Ali received a bond of $750,000.
Hassan Ali also is a fugitive on a drug charge from California, according to police.
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