Police have identified a man accused of robbing a bank in Lincolnton Thursday morning before fleeing the scene in a stolen vehicle.
Officers have secured a felony warrant against Jean Pierre Gendron, 49, for robbery with a dangerous weapon, consider him “dangerous,” according to a Lincolnton Police Department press release.
Gendron’s criminal record contains convictions for assault on a female and violation of a domestic violence protective order, the North Carolina Department of Correction listed on its website.
The Lincolnton police agency first sought the public’s help in identifying the suspect immediately following the robbery, which took place around 9:15 a.m., investigators said.
Gendron entered the People’s Bank, located in front of the Bi-Lo shopping center on N.C. 27 West in Lincolnton, and issued a note to a teller that said “give me all of the money and no dye packs, or I will shoot you,” the release said.
Police believed the suspect first went to Carolina Trust Bank, located directly across the street, and composed the threatening note.
Investigators are stumped as to why he fled the first bank property without a robbery attempt.
“We don’t know what scared him off there,” Lt. Brian Greene said.
After stealing an undisclosed amount of cash from People’s Bank, police said Gendron fled the area in a vehicle stolen from Tommy’s Drive-In in Gastonia.
The North Carolina license plate on the 2004 burgundy Nissan Altima read ZWK-5567, investigators said.
Bank employees told officers they did not spot a weapon on the suspect.
Gendron is a native of Boston, Mass., and speaks with a Northern accent but has ties to Lincoln and Gaston Counties, according to police.
He is described as a 5-foot-7, slender white man weighing 147 pounds and bald with a minimal amount of light-blonde hair.
Police said he also has blue eyes and multiple tattoos including a cross on his left arm, a skull with tribal bars and barbed wire on his right arm and the word “JADE” inscribed on his back.
Bank surveillance footage recorded the man wearing a white T-shirt, brown, hooded jacket with a zipper, red shorts and white high-top tennis shoes during the incident, according to the release.
It is unclear at this point whether or not an armed robbery that took place Wednesday afternoon at a BB&T in Maiden is related to the Lincolnton incident.
Maiden police said they are working with Lincolnton investigators to determine if the crimes are connected.
Police said a man with a black hat and dark clothing entered the East Main Street bank branch in Maiden just before 2 p.m. and also issued a note to a bank teller demanding money.
Unlike Gendron, the Maiden suspect possessed a firearm, police said.
Anyone with information on the Catawba County incident is asked to call the Maiden Police Department at (828) 428-5005.
Individuals with details on the Lincolnton robbery is asked to call 911, the Lincolnton Police Department at (704) 736-8900 or Crime Stoppers at (704) 736-8909. Tips may remain anonymous, and any tip leading to an arrest may result in a reward of up to $1,000, police said.