Eric Rivers is accused of robbing local banks — and doing a TV interview after one robbery. Screenshot from CBS46
Eric Rivers is accused of robbing local banks — and doing a TV interview after one robbery. Screenshot from CBS46

National

A police department has advice — don't rob a bank and then do a TV interview

By Josh Magness

jmagness@mcclatchy.com

November 08, 2017 01:25 PM

UPDATED November 08, 2017 03:23 PM

Don’t try robbing a bank, but if you do, just make sure you don’t start talking to a local TV station soon after about traffic at a nearby intersection.

That’s some advice from the Lawrenceville Police Department, which shared some knowledge on Facebook Wednesday afternoon for any criminals who might be reading its post.

“It’s not often that we in Law Enforcement give criminals advice on committing criminal acts, but we felt compelled to do so after a recent event,” the department wrote. “Please pay attention.”

That recent event: Eric Rivers allegedly robbed at least two banks in Gwinnett County, Georgia, within the last few weeks — and then decided to speak to a CBS46 reporter on-camera about traffic, police told CBS46.

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Rivers spoke to the reporter, Ashley Thompson, after police say he robbed a Chase Bank earlier that day. Police said a bank manager told them the alleged bank robber was seen approaching a CBS46 news truck, so police contacted Thompson to get information about who she spoke to.

That information helped police find and arrest Rivers, who gave his name to Thompson.

The Lawrenceville Police Department wrote that Rivers, who they say was in the area looking for other banks to rob, might have made “our job too easy.”

So that’s why it gave such seemingly specific advice.

“This advice is extremely important so again, please pay attention. When after having robbed several banks and you are at another bank casing the place for an additional robbery and are approached by a news crew in the parking lot (covering a completely different story by the way),” the police department wrote, “DO NOT stop and agree to an interview with said news crew. The news anchor might be pretty, but fight the urge and keep walking.

“You see, when you accept an interview and provide them with your real name it actually makes our job too easy. We will find you anyway, but we do like a little more difficult investigation on occasion.”

There have been some other, um, interesting ways alleged criminals have been caught recently.

In October, police arrested a New Jersey man after they said he stole a cash register containing $300 from a local tire shop, the Associated Press reported. He was caught, police said, because he left his wallet at the Mavis Discount Tire.

Another man in Wyoming was arrested this May after police say he told officers that someone stole his marijuana, even leading the cops to his motel room and showing them his glass pipe and torch lighter, the Star Tribune reported. The man was from Colorado, where weed is legal, but marijuana is still a controlled substance in Wyoming.

(Not so) smooth criminals

Sometimes plans don't quite work out as intended. Take a look at some would-be criminals who could have used a practice run or two.

Nicole L. Cvetnic McClatchy