Hat leads to bank robbery arrest - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Hat leads to bank robbery arrest

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX)  A lucky find leads to a big break for the FBI.

They've captured two men they say are responsible for a string of bank robberies in Palm Beach County.

Skip Lewis rides the streets in Boynton Beach everyday as a code enforcement officer.

"(We look for) unkept properties, people doing work without permits, unlicensed contractors," said Lewis.

On Sept. 7th, he drove by a baseball cap at the side of the road on Meadows Lane.

"When I pulled up on it, I noticed a big bass on it. I thought to myself, it looks like a hat my co-worked might want," said Lewis. "I didn't think anything of it."

But the next day, while surfing local news websites, he found a surveillance photo from a Delray Beach bank robbery.

And guess what the suspect was wearing?

"The same hat. The same big bass hat," said Lewis.

He got the hat back from his friend and gave it to police.

They told him something else: the description of the getaway vehicle the robber was suspected of using.
A silver Volkswagen.

So guess what Skip did?

The next day, he scouted the neighborhood, until he got to a house on Heather Cove Lane.

"There in the garage was a silver Volkswagen Beetle." Once again, he told police.

The FBI took the case over and began scouting the home.

Court documents say almost a month later, on October 4th, they interrupted the alleged robber, Christopher Eugene Nichols, as he was scouting a bank in Delray Beach with a loaded gun in his waistband.

Documents say his alleged accomplice, Damon James Davison, identified the bass hat, as Nichols.'

"I try and look out for other things besides code violations. Just be aware, pay attention. If something looks out of the ordinary," said Lewis.

Nichols and Davison are being held in Federal custody without bond.

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