ELIZABETHTOWN, NC (WWAY) — Elizabethtown Police say they have identified the suspect in a bank robbery this morning.
Police say they have spent the afternoon searching for Aaron Montrese McDowell, 27, . Elizabethtown Police and Bladen County Sheriff’s deputies executed a search warrant at McDowell’s last known address of 48 Buck Lane Drive in White Oak, but he was not there.
Police say the bank robbery happened around the same time as another major incident in Elizabethtown this morning.
Around 9 a.m. Elizabethtown Primary School got a call about a bomb threat. Police rushed to the scene to ensure the safety of the 550 students and their teachers and evacuated them to the National Guard Armory.
“School staff responded wonderfully,” Bladen County Schools spokeswoman Valerie Newton said. “They were able to very quickly get the children evacuated from the school, and in just a matter of a few minutes law enforcement was on the school campus very quickly, and it went so smoothly we couldn’t have asked for a better evacuation.”
Police say while they were assisting with the evacuation at the Elizabethtown Primary, they received a second call. The First citizens Bank on Broad Street, just blocks away from their station, was being robbed.
“A light-skinned black male walked into the bank and approached the teller. There wasn’t any customers in the bank at the time, and he handed the teller a note displayed a handgun and basically demanded money,” Elizabethtown Police Chief Robert Kinlaw said. “She gave him the money that she had that he put into a black duffle bag and then he left on foot.”
Police say that they cannot tie the two incidents together, but they say the timing of both calls makes it very suspicious.
“We can’t verify that the two are related, but it’s just awfully coincidental, and we are investigating whether or not there is some relationship there,” Chief Kinlaw said. “I have been working here for 30 plus years, and this is, as I recall, the third bank robbery we have had.”
If you have any information about either the bomb threat or the bank robbery call police.