UPDATE: “Pink Lady Bandit” and accomplice captured by the FBI after a spree of bank robberies from PA to NC

The “Pink Lady Bandit” has been captured after robbing four banks along the East Coast, in three different states. Two of these banks were in N.C. The pink lady bandit didn’t act alone, her male accomplice is also in custody. So much for a modern day Bonnie & Clyde.

(AYDEN,NC)- UPDATE 7/29/19 08:47PM: The same unidentified suspect from the original story last week where one bank robbery occurred in Ayden, NC at Southern Bank, unfolded a bigger picture into an FBI investigation.

The “Pink Lady Bandit” is believed to have robbed four different banks along the East Coast, in three states, two of which were in N.C.

In each individual robbery, there were similar characteristics. The female suspect showed the teller a note demanding money, and in two specified cases she was carrying a distinctive style of a pink handbag. The pink handbag lead to her being dubbed as the “Pink Lady Bandit”. Other physical characteristics were yoga style pants, tank tops, big dark sunglasses, and a grayish colored baseball cap.

Photo Courtesy of FBI
Photo Courtesy of FBI

In each case, the suspect showed the teller a note that demanded money. She has since been dubbed the nickname, “Pink Lady Bandit” because in at least two of the robberies she carried a very distinctive pink handbag.

The Pink Lady Bandit didn’t act alone and her “Clyde” – accomplice, has also been arrested in the series of robberies. FBI- Charlotte, Public Affairs Specialist, Shelley Lynch issued the following in a release on the FBI website:

“The Charlotte Division of the FBI arrested Circe Baez (DOB August 9, 1983) and Alexis Morales (DOB May 15, 1981) on July 28, 2019, in connection with at least four bank robberies along the East Coast. The bank robberies occurred at the following locations:

  • Orrstown Bank, 1 Giant Lane, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, on July 20, 2019
  • M&T Bank, 19511 Camelot Drive, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, on July 23, 2019
  • Southern Bank, 236 West 3rd Street in Ayden, North Carolina, on July 24, 2019
  • BB&T, 8 Raleigh Street in Hamlet, North Carolina, on July 26, 2019

Evidence gathered during the course of the investigation by the FBI, Greenville Police Department, the Ayden Police Department, Hamlet Police Department, Carlisle Police Department, and the Delaware State Police led agents and task force officers to identify Circe Baez as the woman who robbed at least four banks. Agents and officers uncovered additional evidence after the robbery in Hamlet, North Carolina, to identify Morales as an accomplice to the crimes.

On Sunday, July 28, 2019, investigators located Baez and Morales at the Charlotte Speedway Inn & Suites located at 1408 West Sugar Creek Road in Charlotte, North Carolina. Members of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Violent Criminal Apprehension Team took the suspects into custody without incident. They were transported to Pitt County where they went before a local magistrate judge and were booked into the Pitt County Detention Center. The suspects are currently being held at the Pitt County Detention Center in Greenville, North Carolina, on $4 million bond each. At this time, they are charged in connection with the bank robberies in Ayden and Hamlet, North Carolina. Specific details on the individual charges they face can be found at the Pitt County Detention Center website. 

Baez is also currently charged by the Carlisle Police Department. Both suspects are likely facing additional charges from other state agencies and perhaps federal charges in connection to the cases. The investigation is ongoing.

The following agencies partnered in this investigation: FBI Charlotte, Delaware State Police, Carlisle Police Department, Ayden Police Department, Hamlet Police Department, Greenville Police Department, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, FBI Baltimore, and FBI Philadelphia.”

The Pink Lady Bandit and her side kick have traded in the pink purse for one pillow case, orange jump suits and hotel suites on the run for jail cells.

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact your local FBI Office or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate. You can also submit a tip at: tips.fbi.gov


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(AYDEN, NC)- Ayden Police Department is asking for the public’s help identifying a woman who robbed a local bank today on foot.

APD released the bank robbery suspect caught on surveillance footage at Southern Bank. APD reported that at approximately 4:10-4:15 PM this Wednesday evening, the 236 Third Street location was robbed by the female pictured in photos below.

Photo Courtesy of Ayden Police Dept.
Photo Courtesy of Ayden Police Dept
Photo Courtesy of Ayden Police Dept

Photo Courtesy of Ayden Police Dept
Photo Courtesy of Ayden Police Dept

The suspect is described as a white female, late 20s to early 30s who was wearing a black tank top, black/white printed legging style pants, a blue ball cap and a pink purse.

The suspect was said to be traveling on foot.

If you have any information, please call the Ayden Police Department at 252-481-5844 or our EZ Call Program at 252-746-APD0.

There is up to a $5,000 reward offered through the North Carolina Bankers Association for any information leading to the arrest of the suspect.

SVU and FBI investigation lead to two arrests for sex crimes against children

Two Jacksonville men were arrested on charges of sexually related crimes against children in two separate incidences. The FBI and OCSO SVU collaborated in this effort.

Two Onslow County men have been arrested on criminal charges for child pornography and taking indecent liberties with minors, in two separate incidences on the same day.

Tuesday, July, 9, 2019, the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office SVU (Special Victim’s Unit) assisted the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation, Sexual Exploitation Task Force in an investigation and execution of a search warrant at the home of Matthew James Jones.

As a result of the search warrants execution, the seizure of computer devices that contained numerous pornographic digital photographs and video footage of minor children. The investigation, as well as examination of forensic evidence seized is still on-going.

Jones, 55-years-old of Stillwood Circle in Jacksonville, was taken into custody without incident. He was taken before a magistrate where he was charged on a total of  (8) counts:

  • (4) Counts Second Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
  • (4) Counts Third Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
Photo Courtesy of OCSO: Jones

UPDATE: (3:22pm)- The Onslow Beat received a tip that Matthew James Jones is employed by the Family Dollar store located at 8699 Richlands Highway, 28574, NC as the Head Store Manager. Freelance Reporter to The Onslow Beat, Bonnie Roman reached out for a statement from staff at the Richlands Family Dollar location. The staff member said, “We are on strict orders from corporate not to discuss this matter.” The staff member did also say, “We are all in shock.”

Bonnie asked additional questions in light of public concern.

Are there hidden cameras in the store restroom? What about use of the store computer?
She was informed that the store does not have Wi-Fi and the only computer in the store is for corporate operations, like inventory tracking and store applications. So from this, nothing in the store could be seized and there are no hidden cameras in the store restroom.

The NCDPS shows no history of priors.

Bond for Jones $10,000 secured.

Anyone with information about this incident may contact Det. Johnston at 910-989-4047 or Crime Stoppers at 910-938-3273. Please refer to case 2019010096 when calling.


In the second, unrelated arrest on Tuesday,  July 9, 2019, deputies responded to a domestic call regarding argument between a female caller and her boyfriend.

OCSO Deputies learned that the boyfriend, Robert Daniel Wagner had inappropriately touched and photographed children known to him. Wagner, 33-years-old of Avon Drive in Hubert was arrested on-site, taken before a magistrate and charged with (2) two charges:

  • (1) Count Third Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
  • (1) Count Indecent Liberties with a Child.

This investigation and the forensic examination of the evidence seized in relation to this arrest is still ongoing.

Photo Courtesy of OCSO: Wagner

The NCDPS database shows no priors.

We will continue to update on this suspect as information comes available.

Bond for Wagner $20,000 secured.

Anyone with information about this incident may contact Det. Kensington at 910-989-4029 or Crime Stoppers at 910-938-3273. Please refer to case 2019010099 when calling.

 

 

Crime Stoppers offers cash reward of up to $2,500 for information that is deemed of value or assistance to law enforcement. Information can also be anonymously texted via Text-A-Tip by typing TIP4CSJAX and your message to 274637 (CRIMES). Callers to Crime Stoppers may remain anonymous and never have to reveal their identity.