Criminals cause distraction, rob Dadeville bank

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

DADEVILLE, AL (WSFA) - Criminals delivered a one-two punch to police Monday morning.

Authorities say at least three people used a diversion to clear the way for a bank heist.

Educators started the school week off on a hectic note after police received a frightening phone call.

"It lasted about 10 seconds. It was an anonymous call, that said, 'We planted a bomb at Dadeville High School,' and then just hung up," explained Philip Baker, Tallapoosa County's superintendent.

Authorities scrambled to the building, where administrators quickly evacuated some 1,200 elementary and high school students.

"They got the kids out, which was our first priority, and we ran a sweep of the school. And that was, to my extent, what we knew what was going on," said Dadeville High School principal Carl Stewart.

But something else was in the works.  While first responders swept the school, police received another call from the RBC Bank in downtown Dadeville.

"[The bomb threat] was probably a ploy to get us away from town," said Dadeville Police Chief Steve Freeman.

"Two black males went inside the bank armed.  One of them got two of the cashier's boxes, then exited.  They were in there less than a minute."

Surveillance pictures are some of the only clues left behind.  Investigators say the suspects--who wore gloves, hid their features, and stole a getaway car--knew what they were doing.

"It makes it a lot harder. You don't have much to go on, put it that way," Freeman said.

The charges against the men are mounting. Meanwhile, authorities are left asking the public for help and wondering how this happened in their own backyard.

"It's just getting like any other towns now.  The bigger towns that this happens in now. It filters on down through your small towns," Freeman said.

If you have any information that could help the investigation, call Dadeville Police Department at (256) 825-6212.

©2010 WSFA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.