Suspect in custody after claiming to have bomb in Sampson County bank robbery

ByDerek Rowles via WTVD logo
Saturday, July 22, 2017
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Jonathan Bruce

CUMBERLAND COUNTY (WTVD) -- A bomb squad searched a car along Highway 13 in Cumberland County after the driver was suspected of being involved in a bank robbery in Sampson County on Friday morning.

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The driver, Jonathan Andrew Bruce, 23, of Wade, N.C., was pulled over about 40 minutes after the heist and was taken into custody.

According to Sampson County Sheriff's Office Captain Eric Pope, a man in a hoodie entered the First Citizens Bank on E. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. in Roseboro just before 9:30 a.m.

The suspect passed a note to the teller saying he had a bomb, according to Pope. The man left with an undisclosed amount of money in a 4-door silver/grey sedan. Bank tellers were able to obtain the registration plate number and provided it to deputies.

With that information, investigators were able to identify Bruce as a suspect.

While Cumberland County deputies went to Bruce's home, he drove by in a grey Chevrolet Impala with the matching license plate. The deputies followed him and stopped him. Bruce was detained and turned over to Sampson County investigators.

"The bank tellers, who were able to get the license plate and provide accurate suspect descriptions, were the key to solving this robbery as quickly as we did," said Sampson County Sheriff Jimmy Thornton. "I would also like to thank the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office for their assistance in taking Bruce into custody."

Images from Chopper 11 HD showed a bomb squad robot checking out the vehicle.

Highway 13 just east of Interstate 95 was blocked as the bomb squad investigated.

Bruce is currently at the Sampson County Sheriff's Office awaiting questioning by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Sheriff's Office investigators.