Richland County authorities have arrested two suspects in connection with a series of armed robberies this month – including one at a Columbia bank.
Sheriff's Deputy Curtis Wilson says a Crimestoppers tip helped.
Wilson says Thursday afternoon at Midlands Technical College on Lexington Drive, 18-year-old Alexis Gillespie of Columbia was stopped driving a car that was used in the robbery of the First Citizens Bank on Parklane Road Tuesday morning.
Wilson says about an hour later Thursday, Sheriff's deputies and SLED agents went to the Carolina Lodge on Airport Boulevard in West Columbia where 28-year-old Michael Schaefer (pictured) of Lugoff was found cleaning stolen money.
“We located Schaefer at the hotel where he was holed up,” Wilson says, “and at that time, he was washing off some of the dye from the money. And we were able to recover most of the money. Some was in the vehicle that they used and some was in the hotel room as well.”
Wilson says the gun used in the hold-ups was also confiscated.
Investigators believe Schaefer also robbed the Waffle House on Two Notch Road early Monday morning, and Simba Express on Alpine Road on Saturday.
Gillespie is being charged with accessory after the fact and possession of stolen property.