Suspect's Brother Confesses to Robbery

By: Dara Rees Email
By: Dara Rees Email

It was a case of mistaken identity when police issued an arrest warrant for the man they thought robbed an eastern Kentucky bank.

Police thought Ricky Bates was the one who robbed the Jenkins Community Trust Bank at knife point but the investigation took a twist, when another man confessed to the crime.

Witnesses of Friday night's robbery identified Ricky Bates from a photo line up. Police say he went to the sheriff's department to discuss the warrant and that's when his brother Derek Bates confessed to the crime. Police searched the house where the Bates brothers live and found kitchen knives similar to the one used in the armed robbery. In surveillance video from the robbery, police spotted Ricky Bates' baseball cap, something he's recognized for across town.

Police Chief James Stephens says, "That was one thing Derick was very adamant about was 'You all know I don't wear a hat. I wore one this time to help with the disguise.'"

Police say Derick Bates knew specific details about the robbery that only the criminal would know. They say after questioning him, they were led to this riverbank where they found his brother's borrowed clothes used in the robbery exactly where Derick had told them.

When police arrested Derick Bates, he told them he had already spent the $1,000 he grabbed from a bank customer.

"He told us that he spent the money on drugs, marijuana and beer. And he also bought some shoes with the money," says Stephens.

Police say they were confused because the two men look so much alike.

"They resemble each other very much in the photos that we used, they resemble each other quite a bit too, you can tell they're brothers," says Stephens.

Now that the right man is behind bars, this robbery victim says she can finally feel safe.

Cheryl Belcher says, "I feel so relieved. I know today when I pulled up to come into work I thought is it going to be safe to go to the bank today."

Derick Bates is charged with first degree robbery and theft by unlawful taking.

Derick Bates told police he was on drugs at the time of the robbery and needed money for more drugs. His brother Ricky Bates, is not charged in connection with the robbery.

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