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Police arrest suspected serial bank robbers

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
cwootson@charlotteobserver.com
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/09/26/18/14/1aw8rN.Em.138.jpeg|379
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    Kelvin Graham
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/09/26/18/14/sQZkr.Em.138.jpeg|379
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    Tony Lamont Caldwell

The robberies fit similar patterns. Employees depositing bags of cash at Charlotte-area banks were approached by a man. Sometimes the man was armed, one time he wasn’t. But the robber always demanded the bag full of money, then jumped in a car and sped off.

On Thursday, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police announced they’ve arrested two men who targeted retail employees making deposits at Charlotte banks.

Kelvin Graham, 28, and Tony Lamont Caldwell, 44, were both in jail on Thursday. In all, police say, they robbed three banks, although police don’t say what specific role Graham and Caldwell played in each robbery.

The men face several felony charges, according to police: robbery with a dangerous weapon, two counts of conspiracy to commit robbery, common law robbery and conspiracy to commit common law robbery.

Graham was being held in jail on $210,000 bond. Caldwell was being held on $200,000 bond.

Police say robbers hit the BB&T Bank at 325 E. Woodlawn Road on July 1 and Sept. 23. On Sept. 24. they also struck the Wells Fargo Bank on John J. Delaney Drive in northern Charlotte.

The three people robbed worked for Rack Room Shoes, the Arthritis Foundation and the Terrace Cafe. Police say one suspect demanded the deposit bag. The other drove the getaway car. In two instances, the suspect was armed, police say.

Detectives say they apprehended Graham first. He agreed to talk to them, police say, and was arrested following the interview. The police department’s violent criminal apprehension team arrested Caldwell on Thursday in the Belmont community just northeast of uptown.

Both men have lengthy criminal histories. In 2006, Graham was found guilty of robbery with a dangerous weapon and felony breaking and entering. In 2005, he was found guilty of resisting a public officer.

Caldwell was found guilty in 1994 of escaping from state prison. In 1987, he was found guilty of breaking and entering and in 1992 he was found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon.

Police encourage anyone with more information about the case or the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. Tipsters are eligible for a reward.

Wootson: 704-358-5046; Twitter: @CleveWootson
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