DECATUR — New details about Tuesday’s bank robbery in Decatur reveal police tracked down and arrested the suspect within 12 minutes of being alerted to the crime.

A sworn affidavit filed Wednesday by Decatur Police Officer Trevor S. Stalets said officers were headed to First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust, 3101 N. Water St., after being alerted by an alarm at 8:08 a.m. Stalets listed the arrest time for James A. Carr, the 55-year-old robbery suspect from Oklahoma, as 8:20 a.m. Police confirmed the recorded arrest time Wednesday. 

Stalets said officers interviewed bank staff, got a suspect description and said “information was developed” as to where the robber could be found. Stalets did not say what the information was, although police reviewed video surveillance tapes.

Stalets said officers followed their leads to the Decatur Inn, 3035 N. Water St., where they began checking several rooms. At one room, a woman answered who said she was alone. “(She) allowed officers to enter the room to search for other occupants,” Stalets said. “Upon entering the room, officers encountered a white male, approximately 50 plus years old, in the bathroom.”

Stalets said police arrested Carr after matching him with “images obtained from the bank surveillance video.” He faces preliminary charges of armed robbery and aggravated robbery. Preliminary charges are subject to review by the Macon County State's Attorney's Office. 

Stalets said money from the bank robbery was found hidden under the hotel room bed. “Carr further stated the jacket worn during the robbery was hidden in the small refrigerator located in the hotel room,” Stalets added. He said Carr admitted the robbery and still had cash stuffed in his pockets.

Bank staff told police the robber walked in, asked about bank account information, and then placed a note on the counter telling them he was robbing the bank. An employee handed over an undisclosed amount of cash and the robber fled on foot. Employees said the robber had reached toward his waistband during the crime, implying he had a weapon.

Stalets said the woman in the hotel room said she had only recently met Carr, who was looking for money to buy illegal drugs. Stalets said Carr has a long criminal history including a conviction for robbery.

Carr is being held in the Macon County Jail in lieu of posting $500,000 bond. If he makes bail, he is not allowed to enter any First Mid-Illinois bank.


Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid