Regular customer who robbed Columbus bank pleads guilty

It’s not the hardest case local police and federal agents ever cracked.

That’s partly because the man who last year robbed Columbus’ Bank of America on South Lumpkin Road was a customer there, and partly because he visited the bank the morning before the afternoon robbery to do some business, and partly because he committed the robbery by going right back to the very same teller he’d dealt with earlier.

Wearing no mask or other disguise, Fredrick Worrills handed her a note that all in one sentence said “Give me all your money I got a gun.” He got away with $3,764 after the Dec. 17 heist that happened about 3 p.m. at the 1635 S. Lumpkin Road business.

To say Worrills “got away” may be overstated: Everyone knew he was the robber, not only because the teller had checked his account when he came in that morning to try to withdraw money — he was overdrawn — but because he was a regular customer the employees all knew.

Columbus police and FBI agents got his home address from his bank account, but found Worrills wasn’t home when they went looking for him. His mother was home, though, and helpfully identified him from the bank’s surveillance images — not that investigators didn’t already know he was the robber.

Still he remained on the loose for nine days, during which he went on a bender, authorities said, using the loot to pay off a drug dealer he owed and to celebrate the holidays in high style.

And then, on the day after Christmas, he walked into the Columbus Public Safety Center at 510 10th St. and surrendered to police.

On Wednesday, the 47-year-old pleaded guilty to the bank robbery in federal court in Columbus. His sentencing is set for 9:30 a.m. May 21.

As part of his sentence, he will be ordered to repay the bank, authorities said.