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Cathy Terry, manager of the International Credit Union, with her daughter, Brandi Oliver, outside the building after a robbery Friday. Terry called her daughter to let her know she was all right, and Oliver said she came because 'we are too close. I had to come give her a hug.'
Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
Cathy Terry, manager of the International Credit Union, with her daughter, Brandi Oliver, outside the building after a robbery Friday. Terry called her daughter to let her know she was all right, and Oliver said she came because "we are too close. I had to come give her a hug."

Bank robber hunted
Armed man escapes in Courtland; red dye bomb in cash bag explodes

By Kristen Bishop
kbishop@decaturdaily.com 340-2443

COURTLAND — Officers were looking for a black man covered in red dye Friday after he robbed the International Credit Union at gunpoint that morning.

A surveillance video shows a hooded suspect, right, during a robbery at the International Credit Union on Friday.
Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr. from video
A surveillance video shows a hooded suspect, right, during a robbery at the International Credit Union on Friday.
Lawrence County Sheriff Gene Mitchell said the bank's surveillance tape shows a short man in his early 20s wearing blue jeans and a hooded sweatshirt jumping over the counter and taking a bag full of cash.

Friday at 6 p.m., investigators had not determined how much money was stolen.

The video did not show a clear image of the man's face. He had the black hood of his sweatshirt pulled over his head. Mitchell said the man is between 5 feet, 4 inches and 5 feet, 6 inches tall and of average build.

The suspect escaped in a silver Pontiac, but nearly crashed about a quarter of a mile from the bank when the dye bomb in the money went off, said Mitchell.

"The bomb went off and probably painted the inside of his car and him," he said. "It also had pepper spray in it, so he got a good dose of that."

The dye in the bomb is a deep red color that explodes when tampered with and helps officers track suspects following a bank robbery.

Witnesses to the man's getaway said he jumped out of the car after the bomb exploded, leaving some stolen cash on the ground, but quickly got back in his car and drove north on Lawrence County 150.

Mitchell said the suspect's car was not a new model, had no tags and had a small spoiler on the back. The windshield is likely covered with deep red dye.

Investigators believe the man acted alone and should be
considered armed and dangerous.

Helicopters with the Cullman Sheriff's Department and Police Department and Lawrence County sheriff's deputies were searching the areas around International Paper, including Wheeler Dam and Town Creek, on Friday afternoon.

By 7 p.m., the search had expanded to all surrounding counties.

Mitchell said the FBI, Alabama Bureau of Investigations, Town Creek, Moulton and North Courtland Police Departments and Lawrence, Colbert and Lauderdale Sheriff's Departments were all assisting in the search.

He urged anyone with information related to the bank robbery to call the Sheriff's Department at 974-2410.

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