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Valley bank robbed, police nab suspect


Valley Bank RobberyBy Alton Mitchell

The days of Bonnie and Clyde style bank hold ups are truly a thing of the past. As one Chambers County bank has learned over the past week. Drive-thru windows are very convenient for food and beverages as well as banking and other consumer based services. However, on Thursday July 2, shortly before 2:30 p.m. central time the staff at Heritage Bank on 20th Avenue in Valley found out they can be used for another great service.

At that time a black four door Lexus approached the drive-thru teller window to make a withdrawal much like other bank customers at Heritage Bank so frequently do, but the withdrawal this bank patron had in mind was not like that of other banking customers. The withdrawal this customer was making was not that of his own account, but that of every patron in the bank that day.

A white male driver slipped a note to the the bank teller indicating to the banker that it was a robbery. The bank teller complied with the instructions in the threatening note and passed the driver an undisclosed amount of money through the drive-thru service. The driver of the Lexus and a female passenger fled the bank and headed down 20th Avenue toward Lanett.

Police were able to get a good description and surveillance footage of their suspects. Those descriptions and footage of the hold up were released through various media outlets and ultimately led to police being able to name a suspect in the hold-up. Officers were able to issue arrest warrants for that suspect within a matter of hours following the hold up. That suspect was identified as Russell Alan Lashley Jr., of Phenix City. Lashley whom is 33 years old found out law enforcement was hot on his trail and surrendered to authorities on Sunday night at the Valley Police Department. He is facing charges of first degree robbery and second degree theft charges.

Police have not yet caught up to the passenger of the vehicle, but have provided a description of her. She is a white female with dark colored long and stringy type hair. During the robbery on Thursday there were no weapons displayed however law enforcement does classify the suspects as armed and dangerous and encourage anyone with information about the identify of the second suspect to contact the Valley Police Department at (334)756-5200 or Valley Crime Stoppers at (334)756-8200