Myrtle Beach man pleads guilty to 14 bank robberies in six states

troot@thesunnews.comDecember 19, 2012 

A Myrtle Beach man admitted his guilt of being involved in 14 bank robberies in six states during a hearing Wednesday in a Charleston federal courtroom, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Wesley Todd McCracken, 42, pleaded guilty to the robberies and U.S. District Judge Weston Houck of Charleston will impose a sentence after he has reviewed a report from the U.S. Probation Office, according to the release. McCracken faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the robberies.

McCracken is being held at the Georgetown County Detention Center pending his sentencing hearing, which will take place at a later date.

During the hearing officials said that McCracken began his robbery spree on October 24, 2011, when he robbed a Wells Fargo Bank in Florence, according to the release. During the three months following that robbery, McCracken was charged with robbing 13 banks in Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky and Pennsylvania.

During the robberies, McCracken wore little in the way of a disguise except for a navy Nike baseball hat and used a similar method in all of the robberies, according to the release. After entering the bank he would hand the teller a note demanding cash in certain amounts or denominations while warning against giving him bait money or dye packs. Although McCracken never displayed any weapon, his notes stated that he had a gun.

McCracken was arrested Dec. 29, 2011, after a robbery at the South Carolina Bank and Trust in Georgetown, according to the release. As he left the bank, he was seen by a witness fleeing across the parking lot while stuffing money in his pockets. Soon afterwards, a dye pack in the stolen money exploded in his pocket. Two police officers, who happened to be driving by, saw the smoke from the dye pack and saw McCracken get into his vehicle and they stopped him.

After his arrest, McCracken admitted he was involved in the bank robberies after authorities showed him bank security camera photos from each of the robberies, according to the release.

Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723.

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