Funny, Funny Stories From my days at Eden, P.D.

By Michael D. Martin, E.C.P.D. Retired

About the author...Michael Martin (pictured front row, far right in the 1981 photo) is a retired veteran of 25 years on the Eden City Police Department, and has penned a number of anecdotal writings recalling his experiences.

XVII. The Wachovia Bank Robbery

Again I do not remember the year but I remember we had a brand new Chief of Police, He was a nice enough fellow from Montgomery County, Maryland. On this day, the Chief and I were riding around and I was trying to fill him in on the people and the officers of Eden. 

We were riding in my Burgundy Plymouth Fury so I know it was shortly after 1987. We heard a radio call that there was a bank robbery in progress at the Wachovia bank on Van Buren and we screamed towards that location. A white male had entered the bank with what looked to be a large handgun and had robbed the bank of an undetermined amount of monies. Our dispatcher was Toni Spann and she had the presence of mind to keep the teller on the line as another teller ran to the door to see the robber get onto a black motorcycle and head off north on Van Buren. Toni Spann also broadcast that the robber was wearing a black helmet. The Chief and I got to the bank a few minutes too late but then an Eden City Police Officer named Bob Jones was checking on, having finished his dinner at home on Scott Street. Bob Jones heard the traffic on the radio and was speeding to the central area.


     When Bob got near  Morehead High School, he met a black motorcycle operated by a man with a black helmet, Bob turned around and called in that he was in pursuit. The Chief and I fired up the Plymouth Fury and went to Draper at 110 miles per hr. listening to bob calling in the turns he was making in the pursuit. When we crossed over the Edgewood Drive intersection, we actually got airborne for a few seconds and we screamed past Junior Lemmon's garage as fast as that old Fury would run. Our bank robber made a few turns and wound up turning onto South Avenue and he turned his motorcycle loose. He was running over eighty miles per hour when he topped the hill at South Avenue, Bob backed off a little and began to slow down for the 90% turn at the top of the hill. The bank robber did not know it was there, he topped the hill at eighty....and there was no more road!!! He hit the ditch and went out thru the apple orchard, end over end. Witnesses said he hung onto the bike the first flip, came a little loose the second flip and was shot about fifteen feet into the air on the third flip. The chief and I arrived a moment later and the smoke and steam was spewing from what was left of the bike, Money was still fluttering thru the air and Officer Bobby Jones had pushed the barrel of a large bore pistol about an inch into the bank robber's ear.


    In thirty seconds, there were so many marked and plain police cars on the scene a fella could not pass on the road. We cuffed our boy and took him to Morehead Hospital Emergency room under guard to be checked and the fool actually bragged to the nurses that he was a bank robber by profession, the nurse looked startled, and one of the Eden Detectives whispered  "we bank robber profession"  After it was determined that our boy did not have internal injuries or broken bones, we took him back to Eden, PD for interrogation.....There we were met by a team of F.B.I. guys who took our prisoner and left without so much as, thanks. The next morning the Greensboro Daily News had a headline, The F.B.I. had solved an Eden bank robbery and captured the robber. We thought "oh hell yea, that's why they make the big bucks!"


     The next day, we got the North Carolina Crimes Digest, where any department in North Carolina could request information about crimes from any other department about unsolved crimes. on one page we saw a picture of our boy robbing a bank in Dunn, was him. I got on the phone to detective division in Dunn and asked the detective if they had cleared the bank robbery there. He said no! and the Chief was all over their butts. I told them that Eden PD had ran down and arrested the same fellow in the picture for a bank robbery in Eden and the FBI now had him in Greensboro. His reaction was immediate, Wait, Wait...don't hang up boy, let me get a pencil, who did you say you were??

Michael D. Martin

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