01/18/2013 - Quick thinking leads to Arrest in Bank Robbery Case

At 2:45 this afternoon, the First Piedmont Federal Bank at 2101 Boiling Springs Hwy., Boiling Springs, SC, was the victim of a robbery. The teller stated although suspect never threatened with or produced a weapon, he did hand her a note demanding money. The teller described suspect as a W/M, 30-40 years old, 5’10-6’00 in height, and 230-270 pounds. She further described him as bald, wearing sunglasses and gloves, Fu Manchu mustache and goatee, black zippered jacket with white trim, blue jeans, and white tennis shoes. The branch manager saw suspect leave the bank and get into a beige four door Toyota Corolla, and he was able to get the NC tag of suspect’s vehicle. That information was relayed to law enforcement authorities in North Carolina, who went to the address that the tag was registered to, and they discovered that was suspect’s father in-law was the owner of the vehicle. The father in-law was cooperative with NC authorities and provided them with suspect’s name. Officers with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department spotted suspect driving that same vehicle at the intersection of Providence and McGee Sts. in Charlotte, conducted a traffic stop, and arrested suspect for Driving Under Suspension.

Suspect is Phillip Norman Pontnak, W/M, DOB: 022177, 10446 Columbia Crest, Charlotte, NC.  The same coat suspect was wearing in the attached still photos was in the back seat, and from what officers observed,  it appeared suspect had shaved his mustache and goatee as he was driving from Spartanburg back to the Charlotte area.

Investigators traveled to Charlotte to interview suspect. The subject was booked into the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office (NC) Detention Center.

The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office would like to commend the quick thinking of the branch manager. Without him obtaining the tag number of suspect’s vehicle, it is highly unlikely this incident would have been resolved so quickly.