VALDOSTA -- The suspect arrested in connection with Valdosta's latest bank robbery reportedly confessed to the crime during a late-night interrogation session Thursday with an FBI agent and Valdosta police detective.

Police say Clarence Arlonzo Lucas Jr., 37, 1415 Southwood Drive, was arrested Thursday on an unrelated violation of probation warrant before reportedly confessing to the Aug. 6 robbery of Guardian Bank.

A man had entered the bank at 11:50 a.m. that day wearing a white shirt, broad-brimmed and sunglasses, demanding money of the teller by way of a note.

He carried a small handgun, and fled on foot with the loot in a purple, Crown Royal bag.

Lucas was denied bond at his first appearance Friday, pending a bond hearing in Lowndes County Superior Court.

The Atlanta Division of the FBI released a statement Friday that subsequent charges of federal bank robbery are forthcoming. For now, Lucas is being held on state charges of armed robbery.

"He was picked up for violation of probation and brought down here for questioning, where he confessed," said Lt. Brian Childress, Valdosta Police Department public information officer.

Childress said a citizen who saw the suspect's picture in the Aug. 7 edition of The Valdosta Daily Times called authorities, and that was instrumental in developing Lucas as a suspect.

"Someone who knew Lucas called the crime tip line," said Childress.

Additional findings by investigators also led authorities to Lucas, including the fact that he had paid $1,500 in back rent to his landlord the day of the robbery, all in $100 bills, according to an affidavit released Friday through Magistrate Court.

The affidavit reads that Lucas did not answer the door when the arrest warrant was served Thursday afternoon. After gaining entrance into the house to search for Lucas, reads the affidavit, FBI and Valdosta police personnel observed a Crown Royal bag, like one used in the robbery, was visible in a drawer.

Based upon this and evidence collected through witness statements, a warrant was issued through Lowndes County Superior Court to search the residence.

The 4:30 p.m. search of Lucas's blue, single-story house reportedly garnered the evidence police sought, including a number of purple Crown Royal bags, a broad-brimmed hat and a white shirt, all believed to have been used in the robbery.

Lucas did not show up for work in the Azalea City Industrial Park Thursday, according to FBI sources who explained subsequent surveillance located Lucas at another residence, where he was arrested.

After his 7:30 p.m. arrest, Lucas was taken to Valdosta police headquarters, where he was interrogated by FBI Agent Tim Davis and Valdosta Police Department Det. Jason Sunday, who had worked together on the case.

"During his confession, he told us where he had placed some to the evidence of the crime," said Childress.

Lucas gave his confession at approximately 10 p.m., according to the FBI.



To contact reporter Peter Failor, please call 244-3400, ext. 247.



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