WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - It’s the tallest and one of the most recognizable buildings in Winston-Salem, and Wednesday, the bank branch on its first floor was robbed.
Police say around 9:30 a.m., a woman entered the Wells Fargo Bank branch located on the first floor of the Wells Fargo Center, which is at the corner of Second and North Main streets in downtown Winston-Salem. The woman demanded money from a teller, before putting the cash in a plastic bag and running away.
“That’s my bank,” one customer said shortly after the robbery. “I hope they don’t rob my money!”
Officers responded and blocked off surrounding locations as they began their investigation, staying on scene for at least three hours.
“I just think that’s a pretty bold move, for such a large area, and all these police around, and then to actually get away from what I heard,” said Jodi Welch, who described officers blocking off parking lots.
The Wells Fargo Center is located on the opposite side of Second Street from the Forsyth County Hall of Justice, across North Main Street from City Hall and a few hundred feet away from the Forsyth County Detention Center and the U.S. Federal Courthouse for the Middle District of North Carolina.
“The courthouse is right here and has plenty of officers,” said Royal Holzenborf, while standing next to the courthouse shortly after the robbery. “Officers everywhere around here.”
The suspect was described as approximately 40 years old, 5 feet 9 inches and weighing about 200 pounds. She wore a red hooded sweatshirt over a beige shirt and dark colored pants. Her face was covered with a dark colored bandanna and was described as speaking with a deep or “raspy” voice, police said.
“What she got on, she went in there and she wanted to get out,” said Jasper Morgan, while looking at still images of the robber which were released by the police department.
No one was injured and the amount of money the robber received was not released.
The same branch was robbed on Dec. 5, 2016, at 9:07 a.m. The suspect in that robbery, Johnny Eugene Abel IV, was arrested by Kannapolis police officers shortly after midnight the next day. Abel was convicted of common law robbery on June 8, 2017, and is projected to be released on Dec. 20.