Probe of bicycling bank robber continues in Long Beach

Police have arrested a Long Beach man on an armed robbery charge in Wednesday’s holdup of Hancock Bank, where police say a masked robber brandished two handguns and made his getaway on a bicycle.

Wendell Yarbrough III, 28, is believed to be the double-armed bandit who pedaled away after the robbery that’s unusual by Mississippi Coast trends.

“We observed a bicycle, like the one we were looking for, at his residence when we went looking for him,” Police Chief Wayne McDowell said Thursday.

Yarbrough wasn’t home, but officers found him driving a sport-utility vehicle on Beatline Road by the canal north of Lover’s Lane, he said.

Police took him into custody on an arrest warrant signed by Judge Diane Ladner, who set his bond at $1 million. Investigators questioned him and then booked him on an armed robbery charge.

State law considers a bank robbery an armed robbery. The FBI is typically called in to assist in bank robbery investigations. It’s not unusual for bank robberies to be prosecuted in federal court.

Police had been looking for a masked man who held up Hancock Bank at Beatline and Pineville roads about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday and left on a bicycle, headed west on Pineville. Police said they heard from someone who thought they saw him at Long Beach Industrial Park.

The robber pulled out two weapons during the heist, and made his getaway on a yellow cruiser-style bike, McDowell said. Cruiser-style bikes have an upright riding position and handlebars, a large seat and wide tires. They’re designed for comfort and short-distance rides.

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