'Big Box Bandit' tied to bank robbery at Kingsport Walmart

Rain Smith • Jun 25, 2019 at 11:51 AM

KNOXVILLE — Federal agents are seeking tips on a man suspected in a string of robberies inside multiple Walmarts, including a Kingsport bank branch where he made away with more than $6,000.

A press release from the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Knoxville field office dubs the suspect the "Big Box Bandit." In May, he reportedly robbed an FSNB bank branch inside a Walmart in Clinton, Tenn.

Just a couple of days later, on May 24, the same suspect entered the FSNB located inside the Stone Drive Walmart. According to a teller, the white male handed over a manilla envelope and stated, “I need to make a deposit.”

Attached to the envelope was a note indicating that he was robbing the bank, according to Kingsport Police Department records. The suspect also allegedly said, “I have a gun and I’ll kill everybody.”

The teller emptied her drawer into the envelope, returned it to the robber, and he walked out of the store. Authorities believe the suspect left the parking lot in a vehicle with out-of-state tags.

According to the teller, the suspect had been at FSNB a couple of hours earlier but “quickly left when she noticed him.” When he returned the second time, he reportedly bounced back and forth between two lines, then waited for customers to clear out before making his demands. He reportedly made away with $6,351.

The FBI says that as their agents and local law enforcement agencies began piecing together clues, they discovered the suspect was responsible for two more robberies: a bank inside a Walmart in Shelbyville, Ind., and a stand-alone bank in Candler, N.C.

And on Friday, the suspect is believed to have carjacked an individual in West Knoxville. The FBI reports that later that day, the victim's vehicle was used in a robbery of a check-cashing business inside a Chattanooga Walmart.

The suspect has driven a blue, older model Ford Taurus, and most recently the gold Chevrolet Trailblazer stolen in Knoxville. He's described as weighing between 180 and 190 pounds and standing approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall. In some of the robberies he reportedly wore a beard, while in others a goatee.

Anyone with information on the suspect or his alleged crimes is asked to call the FBI’s Knoxville office at (865) 544-0751 or your local police agency.

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