State Line Bank Robbery Suspects Indicted

March 30, 2010


The man and woman accused of robbing three banks along the Alabama/Florida line have been indicted by a federal grand jury.

Rhianna Marie Jones, 30, address unknown, and Jerry Hover Tinsley, 30, of Rutherford, North Carolina, are facing federal bank robbery charges in connection with the March 8 robbery of United Bank in Flomaton and the March 17 robbery of the BankTrust branch in East Brewton.

According to the federal indictment, Jones and Tinsley took $4,963 from two tellers at United Bank in Flomaton and $2,840 in cash from one teller at BankTrust in East Brewton. They are also accused of taking $1,700 from a Wachovia Bank in Florala, Ala. on March 4, but they have not yet been indicted for that robbery.

If convicted,  they face up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines each.

All three robberies were similar — the pair walked into the bank and each handed holdup notes to different bank tellers. The notes demanded the money be given to them  in small bills. They did not display a weapon during any of the robberies.

Authorities say Tinsley and Jones picked banks along the state line because they believed Alabama authorities could not pursue them into Florida.  Authorities believe in each robbery, the pair fled to Florida immediately after the holdups — including March 8 when they fled into North Escambia following the Flomaton robbery.

banksuspects.jpgThe pair was arrested by federal agents and local law enforcement after a short chase from a Motel 6 in Destin, Florida, March 18. The arrest was reportedly the result of a tip phoned into the Florala (Ala.) Police Department concerning a MySpace photo.

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Warrants Unit was assisting the FBI from Mobile in the hunt for Tinsley and Jones. They determined that they were staying in the Motel 6 located at 405 Harbor Boulevard in Destin. In addition to being suspects in the bank robberies, authorities knew Jones was wanted on felony charges out of Pinellas County, Florida, and Tinsley was suspected of being in violation of his probation.

At 11:14 p.m. March 18, the pair was seen leaving the Motel 6 in a gold color 2004 Chevrolet Impala with a Florida tag.  Deputies attempted a traffic stop in the parking lot, but Tinsley and Jones fled westbound on Harbor Boulevard, a four lane divided highway, at a high rate of speed, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office arrest report.

“Tinsley, who was identified as the driver, was passing around and between cars to get away,” according to Okaloosa Deputy Todd Watkins. Speeds in the chase, according to Watkins, reach in excess of 90 mph. Tinsley, who is known by the street name “Prison Ink” turned onto two-lane roads, and the chase continued over 90 mph until he turned onto the dead end Sea Hills Drive. The  total distance of the chase was about 1.8 miles.

While several units pursued the vehicle down the dead end street, Deputy Watkins went to an adjacent street where he observed the duo flee on foot. He was able to take Tinsley into custody, while Jones fled into a wooded area. She was located a short time later hiding in some brush in a fenced in yard.

Local charges were filed by the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office:  Tinsley was charged with fleeing and eluding at high speed, resisting arrest without violence, and possession of a controlled substance, and Jones was charged with resisting arrest without violence.

Tinsley reportedly had two grams cocaine and three Oxycontin pills in his possession at the time of his arrest.

Pictured above: Okaloosa County Jail booking photos of  Rhianna Marie Jones, 30 and Jerry Hover Tinsley. Pictured below: Surveillance video from the March 8 robbery of the United Bank in Flomaton. Submitted photos for, click to enlarge.



One Response to “State Line Bank Robbery Suspects Indicted”

  1. bill, big b little ill on March 30th, 2010 7:36 am

    Looks like they may be getting that retirement home early.