Monday, December 24, 2012
A man who was apprehend in Georgetown by a former police officer and a South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agent last year has pleaded guilty to a series of bank robberies.
Wesley Todd McCracken, age 42 — known as the Nike Hat Bank Robber — entered a guilty plea in Charleston to 14 separate bank robberies that occurred in six different states.
The Myrtle Beach resident entered the pleas before Senior United States District Judge Weston Houck who will impose sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
McCracken began his robbery spree on October 24, 2011, when he robbed a Wells Fargo Bank in Florence. Over the next three months, he robbed 13 other banks in Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky and Pennsylvania.
During the robberies, McCracken wore little in the way of a disguise except for a navy Nike baseball-style cap. He used a similar method in virtually all of the robberies.
After entering the bank he would hand the teller a note demanding cash in certain amounts while warning against giving him bait money or dye packs. Although McCracken never displayed any weapon, his notes usually stated that he had a gun.
Last Dec. 29, he robbed the South Carolina Bank and Trust in Georgetown.
Ricky Floyd – who was an investigator with Georgetown police at the time but was out on medical leave — and SLED agent Rhett Holden were driving by the bank at the same time McCracken was running out the front door.
“We were in my truck running some errands,” Floyd said the day of the apprehension. “I saw a white male running out of the bank. He was wearing a baseball cap. He was looking over his shoulder while he was running and almost ran into traffic. Rhett jokes and said ‘wouldn’t it be something if the bank just got robbed.’”
Floyd said he then saw the red dye pack explode.
“You could see the dye going through the air. I told Rhett ‘that man just robbed the bank,” Floyd said.
The two drove to the back of the bank and saw McCracken running towards the parking lot of what was then Ryan’s Family Restaurant. He then got inside a small vehicle and locked the doors.
Floyd and Holden approached the car. While Holden stood in front of the car to keep McCracken from leaving, Floyd was banging on the window.
“I, of course, had no gun,” Floyd said. Holden, however, did have his gun in his possession. He identified himself as a SLED agent and ordered McCracken out of the car at gunpoint.
He complied and Floyd held him on the ground until other officers arrived.
After his arrest, McCracken admitted to all of the bank robberies after being shown bank security camera photos from each of the robberies, a press release states.
The maximum penalty McCracken can receive for each bank robbery is a fine of $250,000 and/or imprisonment for 20 years.
South Strand News is pleased to offer readers the enhanced ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. We do not edit user submitted statements and we cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not South Strand News.