10/24/12 — Suspected bank robber apprehended

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Suspected bank robber apprehended

By John Joyce
Published in News on October 24, 2012 1:46 PM

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Video capture of suspect in Roanoke Rapids robbery

A suspect wanted for bank robberies, including an attempted robbery of the Heritage Bank in Fremont, has been captured in Asheville after a standoff with police.

The Asheville Police Department received information Tuesday that a man wanted for bank robberies in Fremont and Roanoke Rapids was holed up in a local hotel.

About 2:30 a.m. today, Brian Garland Lancaster, 46, of Myrtle Beach, S.C., was taken into custody by an Asheville SWAT team, following a brief standoff.

Lancaster was wanted for the Oct. 16 attempted robbery of Heritage Bank in Fremont, and the Roanoke Rapids Police Department for a robbery that took place Oct. 17, at The Southern Bank in Roanoke Rapids.

Garland was caught on surveillance video at both banks.

The Fremont and Roanoke Rapids police departments cooperated in a joint investigation that developed Lancaster as a suspect based on surveillance video and witness information. Although he never gained access to the bank in Fremont, police there were able to get information that, when combined with the Roanoke Rapids information, led to the identification of Lancaster's vehicle and, subsequently, Lancaster himself.

"The bank personnel put into action some security measures that prevented him from gaining entry to the bank," said Fremont Police Chief Paul Moats today. The bank workers noticed Garland behaving suspiciously in the parking lot and noticed him with his hood up and saw, once he approached the main door, that he had in his possession an automatic weapon.

"He doesn't have an extensive criminal background," said Moats. Moats did say, however, that that did not make the hold-up man less dangerous. He was still being considered armed and dangerous by police up until his capture.