'Nike hat bank robber' sentenced to nearly 6 years

McCracken's mug shot from his 2011 arrest. (Source: GPD)
McCracken's mug shot from his 2011 arrest. (Source: GPD)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC/AP) - A South Carolina man has been sentenced to nearly six years in prison for robbing more than a dozen banks in multiple states.

Court records show 43-year-old Wesley Todd McCracken of Myrtle Beach was sentenced in federal court in Charleston last week.

McCracken pleaded guilty in December and had faced up to 20 years. Prosecutors say he robbed the first bank in October 2011 when he held up a bank in Florence.

During the robberies, McCracken wore little in the way of a disguise except for a navy Nike baseball-style cap. He used a similar method in virtually all of the robberies. After entering the bank he would hand the teller a note demanding cash in certain amounts or denominations while warning against giving him bait money or dye packs. Although McCracken never displayed any weapon, his notes usually stated that he had a gun.

Over the next three months, prosecutors say McCracken robbed 13 banks in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. He was arrested in late 2011 after robbing the South Carolina Bank and Trust at 1134 North Fraser Street in Georgetown.

According to Georgetown Police Chief Paul Gardner, an unarmed McCracken walked into the bank around noon and handed the teller a note demanding money. The teller then gave him a bag of money containing a dye pack.

Around that time, the chief said Investigator Ricky Floyd, then on medical leave, and off-duty SLED Agent Rhett Holden were driving by the bank when they noticed McCracken running from the bank.

The law enforcers said they became suspicious, and then the red dye pack in the big exploded, causing a mist of red to fly through the air.

The duo then turned around and headed back towards McCracken, tracking him towards the parking lot of Ryan's Family Restaurant, where they found the suspect sitting in a locked car.

Holden and Floyd then approached the vehicle. Holden was carrying a gun and ordered McCracken out of the car at gunpoint, police said.

After his arrest, McCracken admitted to all of the bank robberies after being shown bank security camera photos from each of the robberies.

Copyright 2013 WCSC. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.