By Jack Molitor
The Herald Bulletin
---- — ANDERSON — A woman arrested in connection with Monday's armed bank robbery used to work at the branch that was robbed.
Latorya A. Rayford, 32, of Anderson, was arrested the night of the robbery and faces charges of false informing and assisting a criminal, police said. Rayford allegedly provided the two suspects, Edwin Le'Anthony Ricard, 18, and Gerald Lamont Reed, 23, with a getaway car after they dumped the car used to rob First Merchants Bank, 2825 Nichol Ave., about 10:40 a.m. Monday.
According to a probable cause affidavit, two masked men walked into the bank and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash after a bank employee was struck in the head with a gun. The teller was treated for minor injuries.
The two bandits escaped in a white Ford Taurus that Reed had borrowed from a friend. Minutes after the robbery, a witness reported to police that two men had just abandoned a Taurus with a matching description in the 2200 block of West 12th Street and left the area in a four-door black-and-blue Ford Taurus.
Police tracked Reed to a home in the 2700 block of West 18th Street and arrested him. Police also found the black-and-blue Taurus, which belongs to Rayford, in the driveway of the home. According to the affidavit, officers found an envelope with $300 on Rayford, and the glove compartment of her car contained about half the money taken from the bank, several thousand dollars.
At first, Rayford reportedly told detectives that she had the car all day. According to the affidavit, when she was told the car was used after the robbery, she said she had loaned the car to Reed for about an hour, and that he gave her the $300.
According to the affidavit, Rayford had worked at the branch and was fired several years ago after being questionably involved in a robbery that occurred while she worked there.
Police were still searching for Ricard on Thursday. He is believed to be armed and should be considered dangerous, according to a press release from Anderson Police Department spokesman Joel Sandefur.
According to the release, numerous eyewitness accounts enabled the detectives to identify both Reed and Ricard as the two suspects in the holdup. Most of the money stolen during the robbery is believed to have been recovered during the investigation.
Ricard is described as 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighing 170 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information about him is encouraged to contact police.
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Anyone with information about Edwin Le'Anthony Ricard's whereabouts is encouraged to call Anderson Police Department detectives, 648- 6732, or Crimestoppers, 648-6757.