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Benton's State Bank of Whittington robbed; suspect now in custody

  • The State Bank of Whittington in Benton, shown here in December 2017, was the site of an armed robbery Thursday morning.

    The State Bank of Whittington in Benton, shown here in December 2017, was the site of an armed robbery Thursday morning.
    Holly Kee photo

  • Authorities released this surveillance footage image of the suspect, identified as Arthur W. Bays.

    Authorities released this surveillance footage image of the suspect, identified as Arthur W. Bays.
    Courtesy of the Benton Police Department

  • Surveillance footage of the suspect in Thursday's armed robbery in Benton helped authorities in making an arrest of Arthur W. Bays of Marion within hours.

    Surveillance footage of the suspect in Thursday's armed robbery in Benton helped authorities in making an arrest of Arthur W. Bays of Marion within hours.
    Courtesy of the Benton Police Department

 
BY HOLLY KEE
hkee@localsouthernnews.com
Posted on 7/26/2018, 12:49 PM

UPDATE - Authorities have arrested the suspect in Thursday's armed robbery of the State Bank of Whittington in Benton.

The suspect, identified as Arthur W. Bays, 81, of Marion, was taken into custody at his residence in the 1100 block of West Main Street in Marion Thursday afternoon.

A statement released by the Benton Police Department said that a "joint effort by law enforcement departments from Benton, West City, West Frankfort, the Franklin County Sheriff and the FBI along with numerous tips called in by the public allowed for a swift resolution of the incident."

Bays is currently being held in the Williamson County jail pending federal charges.

BENTON - At approximately 9:07 a.m. this (Thursday) morning, the Benton police responded to an armed robbery at the State Bank of Whittington located on North Main Street in Benton.

The Benton PD, in conjunction with the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, the West Frankfort and West City police departments, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is conducting the investigation.

According to FBI Public Affairs Officer Brad Ware, an elderly white male entered the bank, displayed a handgun, and requested money from the teller.

"We're still gathering information," said Ware. "We're trying to find out if there are any photographs that might help to identify the suspect."

He said the Benton PD is working on a lead on that angle.

The suspect left the bank on foot with an undetermined amount of cash. He entered a silver or white small sedan and exited the scene in an undetermined direction.

Ware said authorities are still gathering information.

The Benton News will update this story as information becomes available.