Crime

Off-duty Gulfport police officer helps catch accused Regions bank robber

Gulfport police have arrested the man they believe to have robbed the Regions Bank on U.S. 49 on Mardi Gras day.

The department’s Twitter account posted Wednesday evening that Andrew Joseph Whittaker, 22, of Gulfport, was arrested just before noon.

According to the release, a Gulfport officer saw a man who matched the description of the accused bank robber in the Crossroads Shopping Center. The officer, who was off duty, approached a nearby on-duty officer who detained the suspect, according to the release.

Whittaker was arrested on a charge of robbery and is being held at the Harrison County Adult Detention Center on a $100,000 bond set by Harrison County Justice Court Judge Louise Ladner.

Authorities asked for the public’s help Tuesday in identifying the accused bank robber, who held up the Regions branch at 9420 U.S. 49 around 2 p.m. Tuesday.

“The man walked into the bank and demanded cash,” Gulfport police Sgt. Clayton Fulks said. “He left with an undetermined amount of cash.”

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs

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