1 in custody following Hub City bank robbery

1 in custody following Hub City bank robbery
Sammie Pettis. Source: HPD
One person is in custody following a Hub City bank robbery. Source: WDAM
One person is in custody following a Hub City bank robbery. Source: WDAM
The suspect dropped a bag near a creek on Highway 49 prior to his arrest. Source: WDAM
The suspect dropped a bag near a creek on Highway 49 prior to his arrest. Source: WDAM

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A Hattiesburg man is behind bars after a morning bank robbery in the Hub City.

In less than 20 minutes, Hattiesburg police apprehended a suspect within a block of the Lincoln Road Central Sunbelt Federal Credit Union.

"Around 9 this morning, we received a call from 1857 Lincoln Road, Central Sunbelt Federal Credit Union, that there had been a robbery that had just taken place," Hattiesburg Police Lt. Jon Traxler said.

Police arrived on scene within minutes, according to Traxler.

"A black male entered the business and did display a handgun of some type and demanded money, he then left the business on foot and he was located around West Pine and 49 and taken into custody at that time," Traxler said.

The suspect was later identified as 45-year-old Sammie Pettis.

MOBILE USERS: Click here for photos from the scene. 

A witness who was fishing in the creek helped point him out to police.

"I seen him come from the side, and he said 'help me, help me, I need your help,' I said 'for what'…and that's when I seen the cops going down and that's when he said 'man I'm in a lotta stuff,' I said… 'I can see that,'" Hattiesburg resident Forest Martin said.

Martin said Pettis was ducking down in the creek when police came up and he just helped point him out.

Traxler added that help from the community in situations like that always helps take a suspect off the streets.

"It gets back to the information we received from the people inside the bank, they were able to give us a really good description, which is something we always teach people," Traxler said. "Whenever you have an incident like that happen, pay attention to what's going on, what the persons wearing, as much information as possible and relay it to our dispatchers so they can put it out to our responding officers."

Pettis was charged with one count of armed robbery and booked into the Forrest County Jail where he is awaiting his initial appearance.