A pair of men accused of robbing a Grimes County bank on Monday afternoon were behind bars by nightfall on Tuesday, thanks to alert citizens and police officers.
Billy Wyatt is spending his 30th birthday in the Grimes County Jail. He and 38-year-old Christopher Gordon Tolbert are charged with aggravated robbery, with bond set at $100,000 for Wyatt and $200,000 for Tolbert.
Around 2:50 p.m. on Monday, a black male entered the First National Bank of Anderson, located at 1071 SH 90 in that city. The bandit, now believed to be Tolbert, approached tellers displaying a handgun and informed them he was robbing the bank. The man took an undisclosed amount of cash from three tellers, placing it into a garbage bag before he fled on foot.
A witness reported seeing a white Oldsmobile sedan, occupied by a black male, parked on FM 1774 in Anderson just prior to the robbery. Another witness described a vehicle matching the same description seen moments after the robber, parked with a black SUV on FM 1819 off of FM 1774. Each vehicle was occupied by a black male, the witness said.
A description of the suspect and of both vehicles was broadcast to area law enforcement.
Around 4:20 p.m., a Huntsville Police Department patrol unit saw a vehicle that matched the description of the white Oldsmobile and had a black male driver. The officer stopped the car and found Billy Wyatt inside, along with a large sum of cash.
HPD officers contacted the Grimes County Sheriff’s Office, and obtained identifying information that positively connected the money in Wyatt’s possession to that taken from the First National Bank of Anderson earlier that day.
Wyatt was questioned and booked into the Grimes County Jail.
On Tuesday, GCSO Investigators, assisted by the Texas Rangers and the Grimes County District Attorney’s Office arrested Christopher Tolbert for the same crime.
After developing information that Tolbert might have been involved in the robbery, GCSO investigators went to his residence to interview him and found a black Ford Expedition (SUV) parked there.
During questioning, Tolbert admitted he was in Anderson in the SUV on Monday, in the company of a man named Billy, who was driving a white Oldsmobile.
Investigators collected security video that showed Billy Wyatt in the white car along with a black Ford Explorer at Clint’s Supermarket, which is a gas station/convenience store across the street from the bank that was robbed, just before the crime occurred.
Through a photo lineup, multiple witnesses identified Tolbert as the gunman who robbed the bank.
Tolbert was also arrested without incident.
Both men had prior convictions. Wyatt’s included criminal trespass, manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance and driving while license invalid (enhanced).
When Tolbert was 19 years old, he was convicted of robbery in Grimes County and sentenced to 30 days in jail and 10 years “shock probation.”
Apparently, the shock wore off…