Police arrest suspected serial bank robber

James Milton Earquhart

June 22, 2010 2:43:36 PM PDT
The robbery suspect, who Raleigh police coined the "Countertop Bandit," is in custody.

Police announced Tuesday the arrest of 50-year-old James Milton Earquhart of Raleigh. He was arrested Monday.

The suspect was wanted for at least four bank robberies in the Raleigh area that date back to 2009. The most recent robbery was in March at the SunTrust on Six Forks Road.

Police say Earquhart began his spree at a Cary bank in November 2009. He is accused of six robberies at four branches and allegedly robbed one of the branches twice.

During the robberies, detectives say the suspect would jump the counter and get physically aggressive with bank employees. In one instance, he allegedly pistol whipped an employee. And during another robbery, police say he fired shots, narrowly missing a teller.

According to police records, Earquhart has an extensive arrest record in Virginia and spent at least 16 years in prison for robbery.

Earquhart is being held on a more than $2,400,000 bond and faces multiple charges, including six counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, one count of attempted murder and one account of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill or inflict serious injury.

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