Man wearing 'Darth Vader-style mask' robs Pineville bank

Police searching for unusual bank robber

PINEVILLE, N.C. -- A local bank robbery has gone viral after police released pictures of the suspect who was wearing a Darth Vader mask.

Pineville Police say bank robberies here are rare, but the circumstances surrounding this one make it one of the strangest they've ever seen.

"Very highly unusual, highly unusual," said Lt. Corey Copley. "You see all kinds of disguises here and there, but this one in my experience is the most unusual."

Police say the robbery happened Monday morning at the State Employees Credit Union on Pineville-Matthews Road. Copley says the disguise has garnered attention from media outlets across the World.

"As far north as New York City, over in the United Kingdom," Copley said.

Police say the man was seen sitting in an SUV in the parking lot for an extended period of time before coming in to the bank, demanding money and bolting. Along with the mask, Copley says the weapon the suspect used wasn't discreet.

"A small handgun would be the way to do it, but a long gun is definitely another rare situation in this case," Copley said.

Because most adults don't have that kind of Star Wars gear, Copley thinks they can use the disguise to their advantage in the investigation.

"He has shown somebody that he's got this and hopefully the person, one of your viewers, will be able to see and call and give us some tips on that."

Anyone with information on this robbery is asked to contact the Pineville Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division at 704-889-2231.


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