Staff Photo: Michelle Floyd. Law enforcement was at the scene of a Wednesday morning bank robbery quickly, thanks to a tip from a citizen. Two Union Point men have been charged in connection with the holdup.
COVINGTON -- A Covington bank robbery Wednesday morning ended with an unusual result -- the two culprits were caught and the money recovered, according to the Covington Police Department.
CPD spokesman Lt. Wendell Wagstaff said about 11 a.m. a resident called 911 to report a strange sight. A man carrying a backpack was seen running from People's Bank on U.S. Highway 278 with what was described as a "red fog" in his wake.
"This was even before the call came in from the bank," Wagstaff said. "So it gave us a good jump start in getting to the scene."
Moments later, a holdup alarm was received at the Covington/Newton County 911 dispatch center from People's Bank.
"Time is critical with a response like that. This was a priority one call for us and we were able to get there quickly and because everyone was working together -- citizens, the police department and the sheriff's office -- we were able to take these people off the streets," Wagstaff said.
When officers first converged on the scene, they were told a lone black man had entered the bank and handed the teller a note demanding bills in certain
denominations. The teller complied, but was able to slip dye packs in with the money, Wagstaff said. The suspect left the building on foot, heading in the direction of Gordy Street, and one of the dye packs exploded.
Wagstaff said officers found an empty backpack approximately a block from the bank. About that time, they received a call from a witness saying the vehicle involved in the robbery was traveling down U.S. 278 in the direction of the interstate.
"Newton County Sheriff's deputies stopped the vehicle without incident at Ga. Highway 11 and Interstate 20," Wagstaff said.
Two suspects, both from Union Point, were arrested and charged with armed robbery. They are Karon Lamar Peek, 17, and Marcus Marquette Willis, 21.
"It was another fantastic job with the Newton County Sheriff's Office and the Covington Police Department working together in the capture of two bank robbers," Wagstaff said. "It was a team effort, and we couldn't be more pleased at how well it turned out. Nobody was injured and all evidence and money was recovered and the two people involved are now in jail and off the street."
Wagstaff said the investigation into the robbery is continuing.