Feds: Bank robber wanted money for food & hotel room

Charles Yater, Jr., 52 (Source: Columbus Police Department)
Charles Yater, Jr., 52 (Source: Columbus Police Department)

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The homeless man accused of robbing a downtown Columbus bank says he committed the crime to get money for food and a place to stay.

FBI agents say 52-year-old Charles Yater walked into the Regions Bank in downtown Columbus Thursday afternoon and handed the teller a note demanding money. She gave him the money and he walked out, going north on 2nd Avenue with $1520.

According to authorities, Yater was not armed and did not disguise himself.

A quick description of the bank robber went out to Columbus Police officers and they spotted Yater in the back parking lot of the Salvation Army on 2nd Avenue and arrested him without incident.

Agents say he had the stolen money on him and all of it was recovered.

Mister Yater is homeless and told federal agents he robbed the bank because he needed money for food and a hotel room.

Yater pled not guilty to robbery in a preliminary hearing in Columbus Recorder's Court Friday.

He was granted a $15,000 bond and the case was bound over to Muscogee County Superior Court.

Bank robbery is a federal offense and FBI officials say Yater's case will be presented to a federal grand jury.

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