Authorities say the suspect shot by an off-duty DeKalb county sheriff's deputy at a Memorial Drive bank in December was a serial bank robber.
After trying to flee from the bank, Eric Roberts, of Lithonia, collapsed in the bank's parking lot and later died.
In a press release Friday, DeKalb sheriff's department said that Roberts, who was allegedly attempting to rob Capitol City Bank on Memorial Dr. in unincorporated Stone Mountain, had been connected to five other robberies in DeKalb:
According to police reports, Roberts first attempted to rob the Bank of America, 1272 Columbia Drive, Decatur on June 30, 2012. Roberts, on September 18th, made a similar attempt at the Wells Fargo at 6756 Covington Highway, Lithonia. According to witnesses Roberts did not show any weapons during the first two attempts but made demands using a note that he gave to the bank tellers.
Roberts’ third attempt on October 26th led to a $3,498 loss for the Best Bank inside the Kroger at 6678 Covington Highway, Lithonia. Witnesses say Roberts used a gun during this robbery and demanded large bills from the teller. An alert teller complied but gave him money along with a dye pack to help identify the robber. Roberts robbed the Best Bank inside the Walmart at 5401 Fairington Road, Lithonia on November 14th. According to witnesses, he took $5,287.00 and this time threatened the teller’s life ordering her not to put dye packs in the bag. On November 24th, Roberts returned to the Best Bank inside Kroger at 6678 Covington Highway and made the same threat. He got away from Best Bank with $1,240.
The unnamed deputy who shot Roberts was conducting personal business at the bank when the robbery attempt occurred. According to the sheriff's release:
When interviewed, the veteran deputy stated that he was just doing what he was sworn to do as an officer.