“One of them put a gun to my head, demanded my keys,” said the woman, who asked us to not identify her for fear of reprisal.
She complied. The men also took her wallet, she said, and uttered a final threat before driving away.
“They told me they knew my name, and where I lived,” the victim said. “They told me I’d get my car back. But if I told anyone, they’d come back and kill me and my family.”
Twelve hours later, about 12:15 p.m. on July 30, three young men matching her description – one black, two white – were holding up the People’s Bank branch at Elk Creek. Bank surveillance pictures reveal that they were wearing bandanas, and threatening the tellers at gunpoint.
“Traumatizing,” said Jonie Richy, a friend of all the bank employees. “One of them has been robbed before. It was very traumatic for all of them.”
Richy covers the day shift at Crickets, the convenience store next to the bank on Taylorsville Road in Spencer County. She said those in Elk Creek tend to watch out for one another.
“They’re our friends,” said Richy. “Our business associates. Our children grew up together. We visit each other.”
The owners of Crickets believe the suspects were in their store the night before the People’s Bank robbery and only about an hour before they stole their getaway car. Sixteen security cameras tracked three young men matching the robbery suspects descriptions at about 11:30 p.m. July 29.
“(The owners) felt they were suspicious while they were in the store; they took too long,” Richy explained.
Her bosses keyed in on one young man clad in khaki pants and a dark long sleeve pullover shirt.
“(He was) making eye contact with (the owners), making sure he knew where they were,” Richy said. “Just things that we look for. Staying too long in one spot. I do think that they were watching the bank.”
The trio left after the young man told the owner he had no money. They drove away in a silver Ford or Mercury, similar to the vehicle the carjacking victim described as the car that followed her bright blue 2007 Chevy Aveo after they stole it from her at her apartment. Police are looking for the Aveo with a bungee cord strapped across its hood. They have not published a license plate number.
The carjacking victim vows to stay with family members in a neighboring county until her car is retrieved and the suspects caught. She said police told her to do it for her own safety.
Richy said her heart aches for all of the robbery victims.
“We're behind them 100 percent, and anything that we can do to help, we'll be happy to<” Richy said. “They're in our prayers.”
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