A Myrtle Beach man dubbed the “Nike Hat Bank Robber” pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to robbing 14 banks in six states.
Wesley Todd McCracken, 42, entered the guilty plea before Senior U.S. District Judge Weston Houck in Charleston, U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles announced in a news release.
McCracken will be sentenced later, the release said.
Nettles said evidence at the hearing showed that McCracken began a robbery spree on Oct. 24 of last year at a Wells Fargo Bank in Florence.
McCracken robbed 13 other banks in Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky and Pennsylvania over the next three months, Nettles said.
He wore a navy Nike baseball cap when he entered the banks and handed the tellers notes demanding cash, Nettles said.
McCracken warned against the tellers giving bait money or dye packs, Nettles said.
He never showed a gun, but Nettles said the notes often stated that McCracken was armed.
McCracken was arrested on Dec. 29 after he robbed a South Carolina Bank and Trust in Georgetown, Nettles said.
Witnesses saw McCracken flee across a parking lot while stuffing his pockets with money, Nettles said. A dye pack exploded in his pocket shortly after.
Nearby law enforcement officers spotted the smoke from the dye pack and saw McCracken get into a vehicle, Nettles said. He was arrested before he could escape.
McCracken admitted to all the robberies after law enforcement showed security photos of him committing the robberies, Nettles said.
Nettles said the maximum penalty McCracken can receive for each robbery is a fine of $250,000 and/or 20 years in prison.
The FBI investigated the case, along with several local law enforcement agencies, Nettles said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Alston C. Badger of the Charleston office handled the case, Nettles said.
Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908.
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