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Law men chase robbery suspect

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August 04, 2005

Bainbridge-- Right now, authorities from two different states are searching for a bank robber in Decatur County. Florida Sheriff's deputies are helping Georgia agencies track down Doney Mathis in a wooded area just outside Bainbridge.

A warning shot marked the beginning of a massive manhunt for Mathis. "He's moving. We got a real good track on him so we expect to apprehend him. He's got some tough walking to do in the woods," says Decatur County Sheriff, Wiley Griffin.

Fortunately, nobody was hurt when four people robbed the Family Bank in Bainbridge around 9:00 Thursday morning. Authorities don't know how much money they stole. "We apprehended three of them, two males and a female," says Griffin.

On foot and in the air, authorities are searching a stretch of woods along Highway 27 southbound for the 35 year old Mathis. "He's got baggy blue jeans on, some type of dark T-shirt, but he's got on a yellow T-shirt under it," says Griffin.

Authorities say Mathis is a career criminal and is extremely dangerous. They're warning people to stay inside and lock their doors. "He just got out of federal prison for bank robbery. And he also has another pretty good bit of violent crimes," says Griffin.

Mathis was just released from the Bibb County Jail on charges of rape and aggravated assault. He's also believed to be armed with a handgun. That's why authorities say they'll search non-stop until he's found. "We're just going to stick with it until we find him," says Griffin. If night falls before then, the helicopter is equipped with a camera that detects body heat.

If you even think you see Mathis, call the Decatur County Sheriff's Office immediately at 248-3044. Or, you can call the Georgia State Patrol.

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