Robbery suspect caught after chase - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Robbery suspect caught after chase

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June 5, 2003

Tifton-- Police say 24-year-old Jeffrey Lamar Acree walked through the west door of the DoCo Credit Union on Love Avenue in Tifton just before one o'clock Wednesday afternoon.  "He was wearing some type of bandana mask that was recovered in the car, he came in and demanded money and put the duffel bag on the counter and told teller to put money in the duffel bag, which they did," said Lt. Raymond Drennon of the Tifton Police Dept. 

Acree might have thought he had a clean getaway when he drove onto I-75 North. But area law enforcement had already been alerted about the bank robbery and had a detailed description of him and the getaway car.

Acree's white Dodge Neon was spotted by Turner County deputies. A high speed chase ensued, and Acree exited off the highway, wrecking his car.  "During the wreck, his car caught on fire, and some things along with it," said Drennon.

Deputies were able to pull Acree and most of the stolen money from the burning car, but some of the cash was burned up.

Police say the quick thinking of the bank tellers led to the bank robber's quick capture. "Oh, definitely, the victims got it all started. Without their information we would still be looking for this guy probably," Drennon said.

"It's a quiet town," said Customer Allison Webb. "This is not something you would expect but there is not a whole lot of security and that's something we have noticed. I mean that try to keep their costs low because it is a credit union."

Jeffrey Lamar Acree  is in the Tift County Jail, charged with armed robbery, and several traffic charges as well as a drug possession charge.

Police say they recovered a significant amount of marijuana from the vehicle.