Retired Ga. cop stops bank robbery

By Tim Eberly
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ATLANTA — Retirement has been good to Bob Lynn.

The former Atlanta police lieutenant catches Atlanta Braves games whenever he can.

He digs watching documentaries on the Georgia Public Broadcasting channel.

Earlier this month, though, Lynn had to brush the dust off his firearm and do some police work.

Lynn, retired since summer 2002, caught a man in the act of robbing a Bank of America in northwest Atlanta, ordered the man onto the floor and sat on him until police officers arrived.

"He had this look on his face like, 'You got me,' " Lynn said. "He did everything I told him to do."

Lynn, 58, works several days a week at the Bank of America branch on Howell Mill Road, mainly handling traffic congestion outside the bank.

That's where he was at 1:25 a.m. on May 7, when he got a call from his best friend, a retired police sergeant who was listening to the Atlanta police radio while also working part-time job.

The friend told Lynn that his bank was getting robbed by a man claiming he had a bomb.

Lynn thought it was a joke.

"All of a sudden, in a nanosecond, I realized he was serious and I switched gears," Lynn said.

He pulled his gun from his holster, held it as his side and hurried into the bank.

Lynn spotted the alleged robber in a manger's office. He confronted the man, later identified as Thomas Eugene Bradley, at gunpoint and ordered him onto the floor, according to an Atlanta police report.

Bradley had tried to rob the bank by claiming he had a bomb in a pink gift bag, the report said.

Bradley, 47, told the manager that he wanted $20,000 because he was desperate and about to lose his home in Palmetto on the Southside.

The bomb turned out to be a fake — just a cellphone and some screws.

But, the next day, when Lynn walked into the bank, the tellers and employees gave him a standing ovation.

"I really got a kick out of that," Lynn said.

"I soaked it up."

Copyright 2008 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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