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Police nab suspect in robberies

melissa.wilson@gwinnettdaiypost.com

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett County police said Tuesday the Lawrenceville Police Department arrested a Lilburn man believed to be connected to two bank robberies.

Gwinnett County Police Department spokesman Cpl. Darren Moloney said the Gwinnett police issued arrest warrants for 50-year-old Gary Stephen Gambrell of 1126 Landford Drive in Lilburn.

A warrant issued in February listed Gambrell as having a Grayson address.

Moloney said Lawrenceville police contacted Gwinnett police after receiving a tip concerning where to find Gambrell and Lawrenceville officers arrested Gambrell Saturday.

Neither Moloney nor Lawrenceville police spokesman Capt. Greg Vaughn knew where Gambrell was arrested or who tipped off police with Gambrell's whereabouts.

Gambrell was booked into the Gwinnett County Detention Center about 5:11 a.m. Saturday, according to the detention center docket.

Police suspect Gambrell is responsible for the robbery of Best Bank at 1227 Rockbridge Road in Stone Mountain Jan. 11 and a second Best Bank location at 3050 Five Forks Trickum Road in Lilburn Jan. 31. Both banks are located inside Kroger grocery stores.

According to a police report from the Jan. 11 robbery, a man police later identified as Gambrell entered the bank about 8 p.m. and approached an employee handing him a note demanding money. Police say Gambrell pulled up his shirt to reveal a black handgun tucked into his waistband.

A similar note was used in the robbery of the Lilburn bank Jan. 31. According to a police report, Gambrell entered the bank shortly before 8 p.m., handing a teller a note written on an envelope telling her to give him all her money or he would shoot. Gambrell did not appear to be armed, the report said.

According to reports, Gambrell allegedly took more than $2,000 from the banks.

Moloney said Gambrell has been charged with felony robbery and felony armed robbery and has been denied bond. Additional charges are pending, Moloney said, as the investigation continues.

Moloney added Gambrell was previously incarcerated at the Gwinnett County Detention Center in 2003 and in 2006, both arrests for violation of probation.

"He apparently was arrested in other jurisdiction, but only during (2003 and 2006) in Gwinnett," he said.

Moloney was unsure what charges led to the arrests elsewhere.