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Grand jury indicts Pamlico County armed bank robbery suspects

By WCTI Staff
Published On: Dec 02 2013 04:00:06 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 17 2014 02:44:54 PM CST
David McArthur King and Thomas Lee Cuthbertson Jr.
ORIENTAL, PAMLICO COUNTY -

A federal grand jury has indicted two men accused of robbing almost $34,000 from a Pamlico County bank in December.

According to U.S. Attorney Thomas G. Walker, the grand jury in Greenville returned an indictment Wednesday charging 24-year-old David McArthur King and 24-year-old Thomas Lee Cuthbertson Jr., both of New Bern,  with armed bank robbery, aiding and abetting, and using or carrying a firearm during a crime of violence.

Investigators said King and Cuthbertson robbed the First Citizens Bank in Oriental on Dec. 2. They allegedly stole about $33,707.90. During the robbery, the suspects assaulted several people, according to authorities.

If convicted, the suspects face a maximum of 25 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and five years of supervised release for the bank robbery charge. They face up to life in prison for the firearm charge.

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Investigators have arrested two men in connection to an armed bank robbery in Oriental in early December. An ex-girlfriend has also been arrested for allegedly hiding one of the suspects.

David McArthur King (far left) and Thomas Cuthbertson Jr. (center), both of New Bern, have been charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Deputies said the two men entered the First Citizens Bank at 409 Broad St. in Oriental on Dec. 2 and demanded money. One of the suspects was displaying a handgun and the other claimed to have been armed, investigators said.

One customer, two tellers and a manager were inside the bank at the time. They were not hurt. Deputies said the suspects escaped with an undisclosed amount of money.

Cuthbertson, 23, was arrested in Craven County on Dec. 8 on unrelated charges, said investigators. King, 23, was arrested in Nash County on Dec. 12 on unrelated charges as well.

Cuthbertson received a $50,000 bond in Craven County and King was issued a $100,000 bond in Nash County. They are scheduled to be in court in Pamlico County on Dec. 20 for the bank robbery charges.

Investigators said King hid from authorities with the help from his one-time girlfriend, Phantasia Brown, of New Bern (pictured far right). Brown has been charged with harboring a fugitive.

In addition to the Oriental bank robbery, King is accused of a New Bern shooting in late October that injured Rico Ford, said police.

Authorities said King and Cutherbertson are also linked to another bank robbery in South Carolina.

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Investigators have released surveillance photos of an armed bank robbery in Pamlico County in an effort to find the suspects.

According to the Pamlico County Sheriff's Office, the heist happened at the First Citizens Bank at 409 Broad St. in Oriental at about 4 p.m. Monday.

Deputies said one customer, two tellers and a manager were inside the bank when two black males, one with a gun visible and the other claiming to be armed, entered and demanded money.

The robbers escaped on foot and then got into a silver car, according to Pamlico County Sheriff Billy Sawyer Jr. That car had out-of-state tags, witnesses said.

Nobody was injured, said investigators.

A $1,000 reward is being offered for information in the robbery. Call the Pamlico County Sheriff's Office at 252-745-3101.

Just a few hours before the bank robbery in Oriental, an attempted bank robbery happened about 22 miles away in Beaufort County, at Southern Bank & Trust Co. at 298 N. 5th St. in Aurora, said Sheriff Sawyer. According to investigators, the two incidents are related.

Only one suspect was involved in the Beaufort County attempted robbery, which happened at about 1:46 p.m. Monday, Sawyer said.

When the armed suspect walked into the bank, metal detectors went off, said Sawyer. The gunman could not get away with money because employees would not buzz the suspect through the bank's double doors.

Authorities said the same silver vehicle from the Oriental bank robbery was at the scene.

Witnesses said they didn't get a look at the suspects because they were covered in all-black clothing.