Nike Hat Bank Robber Pleads Guilty to 14 Bank Robberies
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 19, 2012|
COLUMBIA, SC—United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Wesley Todd McCracken, age 42, of Myrtle Beach, has entered a guilty plea in federal court in Charleston to 14 separate bank robberies that occurred in six different states. Senior United States District Judge Weston Houck of Charleston accepted the plea and will impose sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
Evidence presented at the guilty plea hearing established that McCracken began his robbery spree on October 24, 2011, when he robbed a Wells Fargo Bank in Florence, South Carolina. 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 or denominations 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.
McCracken was apprehended on December 29, 2011, after robbing the South Carolina Bank and Trust in Georgetown, South Carolina. As he left the bank, he was seen by a witness fleeing across the parking lot while stuffing money in his pockets. Shortly afterwards, a dye pack within the stolen money exploded in his pocket. Two law enforcement officers who happened to be driving by saw the smoke from the dye pack and saw McCracken jump into his vehicle. Before McCracken could drive away, the officers apprehended him.
After his arrest, McCracken admitted to all of the bank robberies after being shown bank security camera photos from each of the robberies.
Mr. Nettles stated the maximum penalty McCracken can receive for each bank robbery is a fine of $250,000 and/or imprisonment for 20 years.
The case was investigated by agents of the FBI and various local law enforcement agencies. Assistant United States Attorney Alston C. Badger of the Charleston office handled the case.