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AIKEN—- Here’s a banking tip: when making a withdrawal, you might want to leave your weapons at home, especially in Aiken County, where several banks have been robbed lately.  

On Monday, two brothers - one from North Augusta, the other from Atlanta - learned what can happen if you have guns visible in your car in a bank parking lot, even if you‘re legally approved to carry them.  

Someone just might call the police.  

“Everybody took it for the real deal,” Capt. Troy Elwell said, adding it was an ultimate example of “Wrong place at the wrong time.”  

The incident started about 2 p.m. when Aiken County authorities say they got a report from an anonymous caller reporting two men with guns who were thought to be putting on masks and about to enter a Bank of America on Edgefield Road in North Augusta.  

Swarms of police rushed to the bank.  

They stopped the men from driving away, got them out and onto the ground, then handcuffed them. Eventually, police learned there were no masks, the guns were legally owned and in their vehicle and the two men were simply trying to make a checking account withdrawal.  

Capt. Elwell said his department ended up apologizing to the men, but he explained the situation, saying an anonymous caller had tipped them off amid other similar holdups.

“And they understood,” he said.  

Capt. Elwell said one of the guns in the vehicle was a civilian version of an M-16. The other weapon was a handgun.  

“That’s not something you see your average person toting for self defense,” Capt. Elwell said. “That’s military-type arsenal, and to carry it in plain view.”  

He said the men were legally transporting the guns, but he told them that next time they might want to consider putting them in the trunk.  

“It’s not the smartest idea” having such weapons in plain view in a vehicle while at a bank, he said.



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