(WSPA) – A man accused of robbing multiple banks was arrested Thursday after leading police on a high-speed chase.
Kelvin Wayne Simmons, age 53, of Concord, was arrested on charges of robbing banks in Henderson, Gaston, Mecklenburg, Rowan and Cabarrus counties.
According to the Black Mountain Police Department, officers were notified Simmons was in Black Mountain after a license plate reader flagged his car. Around the same time his car was flagged, the Buncombe County Public Safety Communications dispatched a shots fired call on State Street in Black Mountain.
Police believe Simmons had been calling dispatch centers in other counties reporting shots fired prior to initiating bank robberies.
“Black Mountain Police Department feels confident Simmons was preparing to rob a bank in Black Mountain, as he was spotted within moments of the erroneous shots fired call and the License Plate Reader alert,” the department said.
When officers attempted to stop the car, Simmons reportedly released two passengers who were cooperative with police.
Simmons reportedly then led officers on a chase down Interstate 40 at speeds of over 115 mph. During the chase, police say Simmons entered Interstate 26 traveling the wrong way and hit several vehicles before crashing.
Simmons reportedly exited the wrecked vehicle and attempted to carjack a vehicle that had stopped on the highway. Bystanders wrestled Simmons to the ground and held him until Black Mountain Police arrived and took him into custody.
Simmons has outstanding arrest warrants in Henderson, Mecklenburg, Gaston, Rowan, and Cabarrus Counties. The warrants included multiple charges including robbery with a dangerous weapon, attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, flee to elude arrest, second-degree kidnapping, and attempted common law robbery.
The most recent of those charges came on Wednesday after Simmons allegedly entered a Hendersonville bank with a “Despicable Me Minions” lunchbox and told tellers he had a gun. He ran away with an undisclosed amount of money.