Armed robbers hit Centerville Wachovia branch

SNELLVILLE — Officials believe the wigged bank robbers struck again Wednesday, and one bank is offering a hefty reward for information leading to their arrest.

This time it was at a Wachovia branch off Centerville Highway in Snellville, with the now-notorious bandits forcing customers onto the ground and firing a shot into the ceiling around noon, Federal Bureau of Investigation spokesman Special Agent Stephen Emmett said.

The two bank robbers, believed to be adult black men, were not wearing their typical long black wigs Wednesday, but the take-over style of the robbery led investigators to believe it was the same pair responsible for seven recent heists in the metro Atlanta area.

“They were not wearing their wigs in (Wednesday’s) robbery, but the M.O. is the same,” Emmett said.

The pair, wearing masks this time, were seen fleeing Wednesday’s scene at 3520 Centerville Highway in a Dodge Magnum, which was later recovered and determined to be stolen out of Cobb County.

The bandits — one described as 20 to 30 years old and about 5-foot-9, the other 20 to 25 years old and about 6 feet tall — are believed to be responsible for at least seven bank robberies in the recent months.

Wednesday’s heist in Snellville and an Aug. 16 incident at a Wachovia in Norcross have been the only two within Gwinnett County. Other banks have been hit in Atlanta, Dunwoody, Marietta, Conyers, Covington and Decatur.

“It’s very hard to pull any trends out of their activities,” Emmett said.

After Wednesday’s robbery, Wells Fargo has offered up a $25,000 reward for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the suspects. Those with information are asked to call the FBI’s Atlanta office at 404-679-9000.