A man suspected in at least seven bank robberies in North and South Carolina was apprehended at a hotel in Myrtle Beach.
SLED Director Reggie Lloyd says that their information fusion center began to “connect the dots” in the activities of 50-year-old Jonathan Lee Thompson of Concord, N.C.
You may then remember broadcast media alerts issued by SLED, describing a white male sporting a baseball cap and goatee. Those alerts led to tips…. and his apprehension, says Lloyd.
“Agents from SLED moved in and as they were literally in the process of going into the hotel room and apprehending him, Mr. Thompson decided he wanted to slash his wrist with a box cutter type device, and we ended up having to administer emergency aid to him until EMS got there.”
After release from the hospital, Thompson was taken to the Detention Center in Conway.
Thompson has stolen tens of thousands of dollars from these banks, he said he had a gun but it is not clear that he was ever armed. That was one of many similarities in reports that led the SLED high-tech center to connect him to the crimes.
The crime spree began after Thompson lost a job at Action Mechanical in Charlotte, where he at one time lived in a halfway house.
SLED thinks he began in Wilmington, N.C. in September — and in November, he hit banks along Interstate 95 into South Carolina:
“The first bank robberies started September 23 in Wilmington. October 9, he hit a BB&T in Spartanburg. October 13 he hit the Carolina First in Greenville, October 19 hit the Wachovia in Spartanburg, November 3 the Bank of America in Wilmington, November 10 the Bank of America in Wilmington and on November 13 he hit the Wachovia in Florence.”
The SLED director thanks South Carolina Radio Network listeners for calling Crimestoppers and leading to Thompson’s arrest.
“This apprehension really was, I think, an example of what happens when we do share this type of information, we have crimes that are being committed and we share enough details to enlist aid of the public, how successful that can be.”
The suspect , who tried to cut his wrist when he was arrested, is now on suicide watch.