Robber apologized in note

Arthur Reid Jennings Jr
Arthur Reid Jennings Jr. (CCSO photo)

Robbery suspect planned to hit other bank, report says.

The suspect in Tuesday’s robbery in Tabor City initially planned to hit the CresCom bank, but decided it was too crowded, according to a police report.

Arthur Reid Jennings Jr., 24, with addresses in Tabor City and Chadbourn, is being held under a single count of robbery with a dangerous weapon. His bond was set at $50,000 secured.

Capt. Chris Hilburn of the Tabor City police said in the report that he was called to First Bank in Tabor at 9:08 a.m. to investigate a robbery. The teller told Hilburn that the bandit, later identified as Jennings, presented a note that said “Sorry this is a robbery If you called (sic) the police I will shoot.” The teller turned over an undetermined sum of money, and Jennings fled the scene.

Surveillance photographs showed Jennings, in dark pants and an inside-out hooded jacket, entering and leaving the bank. After the photos were shared online, Hilburn said, several witnesses called to identify Jennings. A file booking photo matched the image on the surveillance camera, Hilburn said.

Approximately 7 p.m., Hilburn wrote, he was contacted by Det. Paul Rockenbach of the sheriff’s office, who said Jennings was in custody in the 300 block of Green Sea Road.

Jennings reportedly waived his right to an attorney, and admitted robbing First Bank after being scared off by the number of customers at CresCom. Jennings was reportedly sleeping in his girlfriend’s vehicle at the time, the report said, and needed the money from the robbery. Two women at the Green Sea Road home said they did not know Jennings.

Additional charges, including a federal count of bank robbery, are pending.

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Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and the News Director for WTXY AM1540 & Kool 103.9FM Radio. He can be reached at (910) 632-4965, or by email at