Man dubbed 'Repeat Robber' arrested

Lee Bennett Pope (Image courtesy Wake County Sheriff's Office)

October 26, 2010 5:22:23 PM PDT
Police say they've captured the man suspected in more than a dozen bank robberies around the Triangle who the FBI dubbed the "Repeat Robber."

Lee Bennett Pope, 37, of Raleigh, is charged with seven counts of common law robbery and one count of attempted common law robbery.

He also faces a probation violation charge.

Click here to read the arrest warrants (.pdf)

Pope arrested at the intersection of Glendale Avenue and W. Lynch Street in Durham and turned over to Raleigh police who booked him into the Wake County jail around 4 a.m. Tuesday morning. Bond was set at $1,035,000 and he will get a court appointed attorney.

At a court appearance Tuesday afternoon, Pope's sister, who would only identify herself as Joy, told ABC11 that he had fallen on hard times, and as police predicted had a drug habit and he robbed to buy drugs.

Pope was charged with heroin and drug paraphernalia possession in Durham last year.

His sister says last week she saw a picture from one of the robberies and recognized her brother, and says he's a non-violent man.

"He would do anything for anybody," Joy said. "He's a very warm loving man. If you needed anything .. he just made some mistakes."

However, Pope has a lengthy criminal arrest record.

The North Carolina Department of Correction lists him as a probation absconder for allegedly not checking in with his probation supervisor in Nash County.

He has drug convictions in Durham County and was also charged there in September with driving with a revoked license.

Before Tuesday's arrest, he had been arrested only once in Wake County. That was a larceny charge filed in 2003 by the Garner Police Department.

But the charge that stands out most is from 16 years ago. He was arrested for robbing a bank in Baltimore, Maryland.

He served time in that case, and then served part of his probation in Nash County. If he is indeed the "Repeat Robber," it appears he learned from that arrest. The charges he now faces are for common law robbery - meaning he allegedly never showed a weapon or implied he had one. Common law robbery charges are not as severe as armed robbery charges.

The FBI has said the suspect they dubbed the "Repeat Robber" is behind at least 12 bank holdups in the Triangle area. The last 11 have come in a span of just three weeks.

All of the Repeat Robber's crimes were mainly in Durham, Raleigh and Chapel Hill. Authorities say many took place at bank branches in and around busy grocery stores:

  • 08/10/2009 -- SunTrust, 7905 Falls of the Neuse Road, Raleigh
  • 09/24/2010 -- SunTrust, 1231 University Drive, Durham
  • 09/25/2010 -- SunTrust, 1817 Martin Luther King Boulevard, Durham
  • 09/26/2010 -- Woodforest National Bank, 10050 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh
  • 09/28/2010 -- SunTrust, 3421 Roxboro Road, Durham
  • 09/29/2010 -- SunTrust, 8345 Creedmoor Road, Raleigh
  • 10/02/2010 -- SunTrust, 7905 Falls of the Neuse Road, Raleigh
  • 10/05/2010 -- BB and T, 143 E. Rosemary Street, Chapel Hill
  • 10/08/2010 -- First Citizens Bank, 101 Wakelon St, Zebulon
  • 10/08/2010 -- Wachovia, 1701 N Harrison, Cary
  • 10/14/2010 -- BB and T, 4424 Capital Blvd, Raleigh
  • 10/19/2010 -- First Citizens Bank, Ridge Road, Raleigh

Police were also checking to see if a robbery Saturday afternoon at the bank inside the Walmart on New Bern Avenue in Raleigh was the same man, but the description was not an exact match.

Pope is charged with robbery in eight of the "Repeat Robber" holdups and attempted robbery in a ninth:

  • Robbery: 09/26/2010 -- Woodforest National Bank, 10050 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh
  • Robbery: 09/29/2010 -- SunTrust, 8345 Creedmoor Road, Raleigh
  • Robbery: 10/02/2010 -- SunTrust, 7905 Falls of the Neuse Road, Raleigh
  • Robbery: 10/05/2010 -- BB and T, 143 E. Rosemary Street, Chapel Hill
  • Robbery: 10/08/2010 -- Wachovia, 1701 N Harrison, Cary
  • Attempted Robbery: 10/08/2010 -- First Citizens Bank, 101 Wakelon St, Zebulon
  • Robbery: 10/14/2010 -- BB and T, 4424 Capital Blvd, Raleigh
  • Robbery: 10/19/2010 -- First Citizens Bank, Ridge Road, Raleigh

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