Police nab alleged robbers of Suwanee bank after chase

SUWANEE - Police on Friday arrested two bank robbery suspects after a brief chase on Buford Drive in which the suspects wrecked their car near the Interstate 985 overpass.

The robbery of the Wachovia Bank, at 480 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. just north of Suwanee Dam Road, is the second bank robbery in the past month in Suwanee.

The two suspects - Souksakhone Phaknikone, 27, of Dacula and an unidentified 16-year-old - entered the bank around 12:10 p.m. brandishing weapons and demanding money, said Capt. Clyde Byers, Suwanee Police Department spokesman.

The two left the bank in a white Honda Accord traveling north on Peachtree Industrial. A vehicle description was broadcast and two Suwanee units made contact with the alleged suspects on Buford Drive, police said.

After a brief chase west on Buford Drive, the two wrecked their Honda and were apprehended near the Interstate 985 overpass, Byers said. Gwinnett County police responded and assisted at the scene, where the weapons and money were recovered.

Phaknikone was handed over to the FBI in Atlanta for the alleged federal crime. The teen was taken to the Regional Youth Detention Center in Lawrenceville.

On March 12, Police arrested two Decatur residents for the robbery of the RBC Centura Bank at 3151 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road.

The previous bank robbery in Suwanee was a year before that, said Byers, who attributes the robberies to growth.

"Eight years ago, we had zero banks," he said. "We now have 18 or 19. Odds are when you have that many, you'll have the bad luck of getting hit."