Officials ID serial bank robbery suspect; 2 teens arrested

Officials ID serial bank robbery suspect; 2 teens arrested

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FBI
Officials believe this woman is Nilsa Marie Urena.
  • Story Highlights
  • A woman is wanted in connection with area bank robberies.
  • Two teenagers have been arrested.
  • Authorities believe 25-year-old Nilsa Urena recruited the teens to rob banks.

A 25-year-old woman is believed to be involved in multiple metro Atlanta bank robberies, officials said Wednesday.

Nilsa Marie Urena is the woman officials believe recruited two teenagers to rob at least three banks recently, Channel 2 Action News reported. 

Douglas County Sheriff Tim Pounds and Douglasville police Chief Gary Sparks told the news station Urena had a ticket for a flight to Panama from New Jersey but did not use it. On that same night, investigators arrested two teens. Pounds and Sparks now fear Urena has taken flight to avoid arrest.

Those teens’ names and photos have not been released despite being charged as adults because they may still appear in lineups, Channel 2 reported.

But one of them told Channel 2 Urena put him up to the bank robbery.

“I said I didn’t want no part of it; it sound too risky,” he said. “She told me if I didn’t do it she was gonna blow my house up, so I just took it from there.”

The 17-year-old had a handgun and stolen money, police said, when he was arrested at school, so Pounds and Sparks don’t believe that he acted only out of fear.

The woman on bank surveillance video is believed to be connected to several metro Atlanta bank robberies, the FBI said.

Urena is believed to be the ring leader in bank robberies in Douglasville, Ellenwood and Grayson, where she allegedly used her cellphone to demand money. 

Her demand note also said she was robbing the bank “for the movement” and “for the streets,” FBI spokesman Stephen Emmett previously told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

When the robbers entered the Bank of the Ozarks at 9001 Hospital Drive in Douglasville on Nov. 3, they told tellers they had an explosive device, Emmett said. They threatened to detonate it if they did not get money.

“In the first bank I went in, she told me to give the people the note,” the 17-year-old told Channel 2. “I was scared to give the people the note ’cause I didn’t want to do it.”

Authorities told Channel 2 they are most interested in arresting Urena and tying her to the robberies. Currently, she is only formally charged in the Douglasville crime.

“We want her bad,” Sparks said. “The sheriff and I will put up some money.”

That reward money would be above and beyond anything Crime Stoppers Atlanta would pay, they told Channel 2.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477, text information to 274637 or visit crimestoppersatlanta.org. Tipsters can remain anonymous and be eligible for rewards of up to $2,000.

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