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Press Release

Serial Bank Robber Is Sentenced To Over Five Years In Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – U.S. District Judge Frank D. Whitney sentenced a serial bank robber to 63 months in prison and three years of supervised release late Wednesday, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.

Robert R. Wells, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in North Carolina, Sheriff Eddie Cathey of the Union County Sheriff’s Office, and Chief Chad Hawkins of the Belmont Police Department join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.

According to information to which David Plyler, 62, of Charlotte, pleaded guilty, other documents filed in this case, and statements made in court, between December 2019 and February 2020, Plyler robbed four banks in Gaston and Union Counties. On December 18, 2019, Plyler robbed a BB&T bank located at 601 Hawley Avenue in Belmont, North Carolina. On that date, at approximately 2:17 p.m., Plyler walked in the bank and handed the teller a note demanding money. The teller told Plyler she was unable to read the note, at which point Plyler began to yell and demand money. The teller complied, handed Plyler $2,630 in cash, and Plyler fled the scene.

The second robbery occurred on January 7, 2020, when Plyler entered a SunTrust Bank located at 118 N. Main Street in Belmont. As with the previous robbery, Plyler entered the branch and handed a teller a note that said, “Give me your 20s, 50s, and 100s.” As the teller was gathering the money, Plyler told the teller to hurry up and that he had a bomb in his pocket. After taking the cash, Plyler approached another teller to demand money. Plyler repeated to the second teller that he had a bomb in his jacket. The second teller complied with Plyler’s demand for money and then Plyler left the bank.

On February 3, 2020, officers with the Belmont Police Department responded to a service call for a bank robbery at the aforementioned BB&T branch on Hawley Avenue in Belmont. Court records show that, upon entering the bank, once again Plyler approached a teller and demanded money. When the teller told Plyler she did not have a lot of cash, Plyler told her, “Open the drawer, I know you have money in there.” Plyler took approximately $1,600 in cash from the teller and he fled the scene.

The final robbery occurred on February 20, 2020, at a SunTrust Bank located at 307 Unionville Indian Trail Road, in Indian Trail, North Carolina. According to court records, Plyler entered the branch, approached a bank teller station and handed the teller a note that stated, “This is a robbery, give me all the money.” The teller gave Plyler approximately $10,000 in cash and Plyler left the bank in a gray Nissan vehicle. As described in court documents, a vehicle matching the bank robber’s Nissan was located and deputies with the Union County Sheriff’s Office attempted to conduct a traffic stop. Plyler did not comply and proceeded to attempt to flee the police. Plyler was eventually pulled over and arrested after he entered into South Carolina. Inside Plyler’s vehicle, law enforcement found $10,685 in cash, various items including fake moustaches and wigs Plyler wore during the bank robberies, and a handwritten demand note.

On December 29, 2021, Plyler pleaded guilty to four counts of bank robbery. He is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.

The FBI, the Union County Sheriff’s Office, and the Belmont Police Department handled the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nick J. Miller of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte handled the sentencing hearing.


Updated April 19, 2023