Man wanted for Bluffton bank robbery arrested in Ohio

tbarton@islandpacket.comFebruary 3, 2012 

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A Bluffton man accused of robbing Palmetto State Bank last month was arrested Friday in Ohio, according to the Bluffton Police Department.

Authorities say they received a phone call Friday morning from an acquaintance of David Everett Mack Jr. who said she wanted to turn him in because she feared for her safety. She gave investigators her address, which was to an apartment complex in Canton, Ohio, according to Bluffton police Sgt. Joe Babkiewicz.

Bluffton investigators contacted the Canton Police Department, which sent officers to the address. Police found Mack in front of the apartment complex and arrested him without incident, Babkiewicz said.

"Mack will be extradited back to Bluffton in the near future," he said.

Mack and another man are accused of jumping the bank president in the parking lot of the branch off Bluffton Road before opening hours Jan. 19. Police say they forced the president into the bank at gunpoint, then bound him with duct tape.

Mack and his accomplice, whom police have not identified, could not get the safe opened, so they ran, taking about $100 from coin trays. Several items -- including a BB gun, ski mask, a bag containing the coins, coveralls, the bank president's car keys and video surveillance tape taken from the bank -- were discarded nearby.

Police, with the help of the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office, matched DNA from the discarded items with a water bottle taken from inside Mack's Wharf Street home, police said.

Mack faces felony charges of armed robbery, kidnapping and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

"Credit needs to go to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office in helping us with this investigation. They did an excellent job helping us analyze the evidence," Babkiewicz said.

The FBI also is seeking charges, police have said.

"Those charges will likely be similar to what we have, but on the federal level," Babkiewicz said.

Investigators are following leads to identify and locate the other man involved in the robbery, he said.

Follow reporter Tom Barton at twitter.com/EyeOnHiltonHead.

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