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Employee honored for helping to nab bank robbery suspect

FORT MILL -- Terald Hopkins, owner of Carolina Hyundai of Fort Mill, never gave away a Good Samaritan Award before because he never had reason to. On Saturday, he did.

Hopkins recognized sales representative Jeremy Moore, 32, with the honor after Moore aided law enforcement to apprehend a bank robbery suspect April 15 at Bank of America in Lake Wylie. According to Moore and law enforcement, the sales rep was in the bank making a transaction when the robbery took place, and followed the suspect out of the bank east on S.C. 49 and 274 into Gaston County aiding police pursuit.

"He truly went above and beyond the call of duty," Hopkins said.

J.W. Dunlap, 53, was soon apprehended in Gaston County and remained there as of Monday, said Lt. W.J. Miller of York County Sheriff's Office. Charges wait in York County, but it could be some time before Dunlap returns depending on whether he fights extradition, Miller said. He is charged with armed robbery in York County and a traffic violation charge in Gaston County.

While many people applauded Moore's efforts as heroic, Miller said his office does not recommend following or apprehending a suspect without police protection.

"No amount of money is worth losing a life," Miller said. "Not that we don't appreciate it, but we don't recommend it."

Moore said he believed the suspect, who quietly asked the teller for money, was unarmed.

"I could see the guy didn't have a gun," Moore said. "I asked the lady if he was robbing the bank. I told her if he was I'd knock him out."

No one spoke to Moore until after the suspect "strutted" out of the bank, he said.

Moore then followed the suspect outside, where he saw the suspect open the bag of money and a dye pack explode, he said. The suspect then exited through the drive-thru to the highway.

Twice between the bank and the spot where authorities arrested the man, the suspect stopped his car and walked toward Moore as if he had a weapon, Moore said.

During his pursuit in Gaston County, Moore flagged down a Gaston County officer who then stopped the suspect and made the arrest, Moore said. Moore said the idea of earning a fair wage, and his connection to the banking business, were reasons for pursuing the suspect.

"I have a job," he said. "My wife works across the street at a different bank."

Moore breathed easier, he said, when the pursuit ended and a few minutes later his phone rang. His wife began by telling him "you're not going to believe what just happened," Moore said.

"I said OK, you go first."