Man accused of robbing several NC banks appears in court, given $875K total bond

Kelvin Wayne Simmons is accused of robbing five banks across the state within the span of a week.
Kelvin Wayne Simmons is accused of robbing five banks in North Carolina within a one-week span.
Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 5:06 PM EDT
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BUNCOMBE COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - A man accused of recently robbing five banks across North Carolina within the span of a week appeared in Buncombe County court on Wednesday.

According to court officials, 46-year-old Kelvin Wayne Simmons is facing the following charges in Buncombe County:

  • First-degree kidnapping
  • Common law robbery
  • Assault on a female
  • Felony possession of cocaine
  • Felony flee/elude arrest with motor vehicle

He was given a total bond of $875,000, according to jail records, and remains in custody.

Simmons’ rash of alleged bank robberies began on May 25 when he was accused of robbing a F&M Bank in Salisbury in Rowan County. A day later, he was accused of robbing another bank, the second one in Mooresville, in Iredell County.

The third alleged robbery happened at the Woodforest National Bank inside of a Walmart on Hawley Avenue in Gaston County on May 27.

He was accused of a fourth robbery at the First Horizon Bank on East Broad Street in Statesville on May 30.

Then, the fifth suspected robbery happened in Hendersonville, N.C., at a First Citizens Bank on May 31.

In several of the robberies, police said Simmons told tellers he had a gun and displayed a ‘Minions’ lunchbox. Police in western North Carolina also said he called in false shooting reports immediately before the alleged robberies.

Simmons was arrested June 1 in the Black Mountain area after a license-plate scanner alerted police of his whereabouts.

After police located him, Simmons allegedly let two people out of his vehicle before leading law enforcement on a high-speed chase down multiple interstates before crashing into multiple vehicles while driving in the wrong direction on I-26.

Black Mountain police said that after the crash, bystanders were able to hold Simmons to the ground until officers were able to place him under arrest.

Prior to the recent string of robberies, Simmons had also been accused of robbing a bank in Stanly County, which prompted a lockdown at Pfeiffer University.

Simmons’ next scheduled appearance in Buncombe County is on June 28.

Related: US Marshals Service confirms serial bank robbery suspect arrested in NC