DICKSON, Tenn. (WKRN) — A bank robbery in Dickson went unsolved for nearly five and a half years, until just last week when detectives received a tip that they believe may have finally helped close the case.
Dickson Police Department Detective Kirk Davidson reportedly tracked down and arrested 48-year-old Frankie Jeremiah Dallriva in Bolivar on Wednesday, Aug. 16, after obtaining warrants for felony theft and robbery in connection with the Feb. 24, 2018, bank robbery.
According to the department, Davidson spent several years following up on more than a dozen leads and suspects, until on Friday, Aug. 11, a caller left a tip identifying Dallriva as a possible suspect.
“Detective Davidson never gave up on solving this bank robbery and has followed up on dozens of leads and suspects over the last five years,” Dickson Police Chief Jeff Lewis said. “His persistence has paid off with this arrest and we hope to be able to close this case.”
At the time, reports indicated that just before 9:30 a.m., a man wearing a disposable surgical mask and latex gloves entered the Dickson Kroger on Henslee Drive and handed the teller at the in-store TriStar Bank a hand-written note.
Police said the note demanded that all the money in the cash drawers be placed in a plastic freezer bag that the suspect had brought with him. The man never displayed a weapon and left the store through the east entrance with an undisclosed amount of money.
Video from the nearby Bank of Dickson branch reportedly showed the man walking to a blue-green four-door car believed to be a Chevrolet Cavalier that was parked in front of what was then the Ponderosa restaurant.
An unidentified person had been sitting in the passenger seat since the car pulled into the parking lot a few minutes earlier and the pair left heading east on Henslee Drive.
After Davidson received a tip pointing to Dallriva as a possible suspect, he tracked him down to a halfway house in Bolivar. There, authorities said Dallriva was found living in a home with a fellow graduate of the treatment program.
Dallriva was arrested and taken to the Dickson County Jail, where, as of Friday, Aug. 18, he was being held in lieu of a $160,000 bond.
According to Davidson, his investigation revealed that this wasn’t the first time Dallriva had been connected to an alleged bank robbery. He was arrested by the U.S. Marshals in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on May 17, 2018, for robbing a bank in Jackson, Tennessee.
Police said the robbery in Jackson happened just six days before the alleged robbery in Dickson. The incidents were also similar in nature. In Jackson, the suspect was wearing a surgical mask and handed the teller a hand-written note demanding the money be put in a plastic freezer bag.
Investigators said the suspect in both robberies also had a distinctive gait because of a physical impairment. When Dallriva was arrested in the Jackson robbery, he was reportedly wearing shoes identical to the ones seen on the suspect in the Dickson robbery.
Dallriva pleaded guilty to bank robbery charges in 2019 and was in jail in Indiana until being released last year. Dallriva was also convicted for robbing a bank in Wisconsin in 1998 and is being investigated in connection with other robberies in multiple jurisdictions.
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During a 2018 court appearance in Jackson, Dallriva reportedly told the judge he has PTSD, anxiety, diabetes, epilepsy and other medical conditions. He is scheduled to appear in Dickson County General Sessions Court for a preliminary hearing on Sept. 19.
Davidson said investigators are still searching for his potential accomplice in the Dickson robbery, and additional charges could be filed.