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United Bank third stop on alleged robbery spree

United Bank became the third stop of an apparent serial bank robber this morning when it was robbed by a gun-wielding white male. The suspect allegedly robbed a bank in Dublin Monday and one in Forsyth this morning before hitting the main United Bank branch in downtown Barnesville at about 10 a.m. UPDATE: The bank reopened as of 12:15 p.m. Bank president Robbie Tenney reported he got a warning about the bank robber from Barnesville police just before the robbery. ‘Dickie Carriker called us and I sent out an e-mail. Fifteen minutes later, the guy was in our lobby,” Tenney said. No one at the bank was hurt. The suspect fled through the Main Street entrance to his getaway car – a white Chevy truck. Bank employees described the suspect as a white male in his 40s with dark clothing and a long moustache. Bank personnel did see what appeared to be the barrel of a gun. The suspect fled the scene on Hwy. 36 East where his vehicle was spotted and pursued by Lt. Leslie Baines of the Lamar County Sheriff’s Department. The suspect fled north into Henry County on I-75 with a phalanx of law enforcement officers in pursuit. The chase ended after Henry County deputies used stop sticks to shred one tire on the fleeing Chevy. The alleged suspect apparently suffered minor injuries and was treated by EMTs in the back of a patrol car before being whisked back to the Lamar jail. A man thought to be the same suspect allegedly robbed a BB&T bank branch in Forsyth at around 9 a.m. and left with an unknown amount of money. Sheriff’s investigators at the scene reported that the suspect was not holding a visible gun and no one was injured. Sheriff John Cary Bittick of Monroe County said they suspect the man is the same one who’s been in the news for allegedly holding up banks in South Georgia and Florida. UPDATE: Authorities in Laurens County used bank surveillance video to identify the suspect in the Dublin robbery as William Leonard Willis, 45. Willis is also the prime suspect in four earlier bank robberies in Florida and one in Tifton, Ga. that occurred Friday. Willis fled the Dublin bank in a white Chevy pickup bearing a Florida tag and with the word ‘Sport’ on the back fender. United Bank was locked down following the robbery but has reopened. Tenney said his employees handled the situation perfectly, alerting authorities as soon as the suspect fled the bank.

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