Robbery suspect arrested in Tunica

By Tom Smith
Senior Staff Writer

Published: Friday, October 1, 2010 at 3:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 10:39 p.m.
Ronald Pollard ran out of luck Thursday in Tunica when police arrested him in connection with the robbery of a Phil Campbell bank.

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Ronald Pollard

Authorities say they learned Pollard apparently has a gambling problem and found him inside the Americas Best Value Inn on Casino Center Drive in Tunica, Miss., a town known for its casinos.
He was arrested at 12:30 p.m. by Tunica County sheriff?s deputies. He is charged with first-degree robbery on a warrant issued Wednesday evening by Franklin County officials.
?I guess he was trying to make a little more money,? Phil Campbell Police Chief Merrell Potter said. ?It appears he may have had a problem.?
Pollard, 49, 2011 Hixon Ave., Florence, is accused of robbing the Phil Campbell branch of CB&S bank on Sept. 23.
Athens police said Pollard also is a suspect in the July 9 robbery of the TVA Credit Union on East Hobbs Street in Athens.
Athens police Capt. Floyd Johnson said after the police got enhanced photos from the Alabama Fusion Center from the Phil Campbell robbery, Pollard was identified as the person who robbed the credit union.
Authorities said investigators got information Thursday that Pollard could be in Tunica.
Lt. Marc McCormack, of the state Bureau of Investigation, said his office contacted the FBI in Southhaven, Miss., on Thursday and agents in turn called the Tunica County Sheriff?s Office.
?They went to the motel and found Pollard there,? McCormack said.
Investigators said the 1997 black Nissan Maxima that authorities believed Pollard was driving was found at the motel.
A tip through Shoals Area CrimeStoppers on a Chevrolet Astro van that authorities believed was used as the get-away vehicle in the bank robbery was found Tuesday afternoon at Pollard?s residence. After watching the house for several hours, the Florence Police Special Operations Team used explosives to enter the residence but no one was found inside.
ABI and FBI agents searched the residence and removed items found inside that may be connected to the investigation.
McCormack said authorities learned Tuesday night that Pollard could be in the Maxima.
Authorities believe Pollard may have gone to Tunica after he found out Tuesday that he had been developed as a suspect.
Potter said a man handed a teller a note and threatened to shoot her if she didn?t comply with his demands. Once he got the money, the robber left on foot. Two tellers were inside the bank at the time of the robbery. No one was hurt.
?It was a week to the day, from the time the bank was robbed until we got the suspect in custody,? Potter said. ?There were a lot of agencies involved in this; they all worked well together. You get things done when you work together.?
Dan Girsch, of the Florence FBI office, said there were many tips and leads and a lot of public support on the case.
?That helped us to get to the point where we could develop his identity and his location,? Girsch said.
McCormack said Pollard is being held in the Tunica County Sheriff?s Office without bail. He said an extrication hearing is set for today in Tunica County.
Franklin County District Attorney Joey Rushing said if Pollard doesn?t waive extradition, he?ll start extrication proceedings immediately.
?We?re going to make sure we get him back here as soon as possible,? Rushing said.
Tom Smith can be reached at 256-740-5757 or

Casino winners targeted for robbery - Business Courier of Cincinnati

Thursday, October 7, 2010, 1:31pm EDT
Casino winners targeted for robbery

Business Courier of Cincinnati

A Hamilton County grand jury has indicted three people after a seven-month investigation of robberies involving casino winners in Southeast Indiana.
The Hamilton County’s Sheriff’s Department, Cincinnati Police Department and the county prosecutor’s office conducted the probe, culminating in an Oct. 7 sting operation in which an undercover officer posed as a gambler and was robbed.
Indicted were Kenyatta Erkins and Ugbe Ojile, each facing two counts of aggravated robbery and one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery. A third defendant, Amy Hoover, faces one count of aggravated robbery.
“These offenders were targeting vulnerable patrons who had won considerable sums of money,” said Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters. “They put these victims in serious harms way.”
Police noticed a pattern in a string of robberies involving casino winners who were followed home then robbed upon arrival. The majority of robberies happened in Hamilton County. The defendants are suspects in as many as 26 robberies. Hamilton County’s prosecutor is asking any person victimized by such a robbery to call them.