Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say a man they arrested in connection with an October bank robbery has indicated that he is the so-called "Bearded Bandit," responsible for 17 bank robberies across the Charlotte area over a period of more than five years.
Police said in a news release Tuesday morning that Michael Gene Terrelonge, 41, said he was involved in the robberies.
His partner, Latries George Murphy, 42, also was implicated, police say.
The man called the “Bearded Bandit” first struck June 29, 2004, police say. He got the nickname because he usually wore a beard as part of his elaborate disguises. The FBI said the bandit also struck quickly. In most cases, authorities say, the bandit wore heavy theater makeup, a hat and surgical gloves, a wig, beard, mustache and glasses. He even wore padding to disguise his body, authorities say.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police detectives say Terrelonge and Murphy were arrested Oct. 1 after a robbery at the Wachovia Bank branch in the 10200 block of Couloak Drive.
The two men were released on bond but put in the police's Electronic Monitoring program. Police say the federal government got involved in the case and indicted Terrelonge and Murphy last week in the Wachovia case. They were arrested Friday on the federal charges.
Police Officer Robert Fey, a spokesman for CMPD, said “it is important to note that they have been formally charged with only the robbery of the Wachovia bank.” He said the investigation is continuing and added that additional charges likely will follow.