Want to rob banks? Don’t stop for a TV interview, Lawrenceville police say

5:46 p.m Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017 Crime
Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office
Eric Rivers, 24, faces two counts of robbery, according to jail records.

Pick one. Either you want your 15 minutes of fame or you want to rob banks.

Lawrenceville police are reminding aspiring criminals they can’t have both after a televised media interview led police directly to a suspected bank robber.

Eric Rivers, 24, now faces two counts of robbery, according to Gwinnett County jail records.

Rivers attempted to rob three banks Tuesday before holding up the Chase Bank on the 600 block of Collins Hill Road, Lawrenceville police Det. Scott Pendergrass told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

Pendergrass said Rivers first went to a BB&T Bank wearing a hat over a hoodie and began scouting out the place. 

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“It immediately intrigued the clerks,” Pendergrass said. “That day, the regional investigations manager was in that branch and he observed his behavior.”

The investigations manager spoke to Rivers, who left after 40 minutes. Police said Rivers repeated the process at a Fifth Third Bank next door and a Fidelity Bank on Old Norcross Road. 

Pendergrass said in between Rivers’ pursuits, he made time for a TV interview before heading to the Chase Bank.

During that interview, Rivers was questioned about MARTA possibly expanding into Gwinnett County.

“He was getting braver and braver each time,” Pendergrass said. “He had a blue surgical mask covering his face (at the BB&T), but by the time he got to the last robbery, he had ditched it.” 

Rivers hung around the Chase Bank lobby for 30 minutes while on his cellphone before he eventually slid a teller a note telling her he had a gun and demanding money, according to the police report. He left the scene with an unknown amount of money. 

Thanks to a photo of Rivers’ car tag taken by a witness, police arrested him later that day at his home. 

“It all kind of came full circle,” Pendergrass said. 

Rivers is also accused in an Oct. 31 robbery at Chase Bank on Scenic Highway. 

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