Suspect Arrested, Believed To Be Involved In Bank Robberies Across East Texas - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/28/07-Henderson

Suspect Arrested, Believed To Be Involved In Bank Robberies Across East Texas

A Tyler man is behind bars Friday night on a million dollar bond. He is believed to be involved in at least a dozen bank robberies spanning across East Texas. Henderson Police have arrested Derrick Hodges, 33, in connection to a robbery there last November.  Now, law enforcement officers say they hope getting the man behind bars will end a two a half year spree of bank robberies.

It was almost a year ago, police were investigating a robbery at the Bank of America in Henderson.  Surveillance video shows two men, dressed in disguise, entering the bank with guns drawn, jumping the counter, and taking off with the money. That M. O. would quickly become very familiar to police across East Texas.

"They get in very quickly and get out," says FBI agent Peter Galbraith.

In an interview this summer, he told us they believe the two men are responsible for robberies in Tyler, Troup, Terrell, Carthage, Corsicana, Palestine, Marshall, and Henderson.

"This is a group that plans. They obviously know their entry routes, exit routes. They steal a vehicle in advance, they know the layout of the bank so that they are not in their a great length of time," Galbraith explains.

But now, Henderson Police say they have one of those men, Derrick Hodges, in jail on a million dollars bond. They say DNA evidence from the Henderson bank robbery positively links Hodges to the crime.

And now agencies all over East Texas, including Tyler, want to find out if Hodges could be the guy they're looking for.

"The suspects in those robberies are a person of interest in this arrest, in the arrest the Henderson Police Department made on this suspect. So we are looking into that to see if they are related, the M. O.'s are very similar so it's under investigation at this time," says Officer Don Martin with the Tyler Police Department.

If so, police say the arrest is a huge deal--getting a career criminal off the streets and out of East Texas banks.

Hodges is in the Smith County jail charged with a first degree felony of Aggravated Robbery. Henderson Police say he'll be transported to the Rusk County jail this weekend.

Tracy Watler, Reporting: tracy@kltv.com

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