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Man accused of robbing Gastonia bank

By Meghan Cooke
macooke@charlotteobserver.com

Police have charged a 28-year-old felon with robbing a Gastonia bank Thursday morning.

Just before 11 a.m., Gastonia police received a report of a robbery at the Community One Bank on South New Hope Road.

The suspect walked into the bank, police said, and passed a note to a teller. The teller told police she thought the man had a handgun.

The teller complied with the robber’s demands, and then he fled in an SUV, police said.

Shortly after the robbery, police found the SUV in a neighborhood on South Chestnut Street, less than two miles from the bank. Police said they searched for the suspect at several houses along the street but did not find him.

But within about three hours of the robbery, police took Derek Scott Mathis into custody on nearby Osceola Street.

Mathis, who lives on South Chestnut Street, is charged with common law robbery.

Records show Mathis is a felon with convictions that include speeding to elude arrest and tampering with a motor vehicle. He was released from N.C. prison in January after serving a year for a conviction of common law robbery in Gaston County, according to the N.C. Department of Correction.

Mathis was being held in Gaston County jail Thursday afternoon under a $50,000 bond.

No one was injured in the robbery.

WCNC-TV contributed.

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