FOOD- THE DISH- Attempted Mall heist: Did Splendoracam capture bandit?
Splendora's security camera may have captured the gun-toting bandit who tried to rob the Union Bank Trust on June 1.
PHOTO COURTESY SPLENDORA'S
Like other folks on the Downtown Mall, it appears that bank robber Jeffrey Alan Adams decided to grab a cup of coffee before going to work.
On the morning of June 1, a caffeine jolt-up at Splendora's gelato shop on the Mall may have preceded a hold-up at a bank across the street. Splendora's owner, Fax Ayres, says the bandit, later identified by police as 38-year old Fredericksburg resident Adams, was captured on his shop's security camera.
"Those pictures are definitely the same guy the police led away in handcuffs," says Ayres. Apparently his morning sales clerk, who asked not to be named, sold the man a cup of coffee and was then dumbfounded about an hour later to see police leading the customer out of the bank in handcuffs.
The security pictures, time-stamped at 8:01am, show a sport coat-clad white male with a newspaper tucked under his left arm. The targeted bank, Union Bank and Trust at 400 E. Main St., is across the Mall from Splendora's.
"I'd never seen him before," says the clerk. "He was completely unremarkable in every way and indistinguishable from any Downtown Mall man in his 30s."
Nonetheless, the clerk feels positive about his identification. "I was looking at the commotion out of our front plate-glass window. They brought out a gentleman with his arms behind his back, and I said, "Hey, that's the guy who bought coffee and sat out front with his paper."
That's when Ayres and his clerk decided to look at the security footage. Sure enough, there was the suspect. Ayres says he then alerted the Charlottesville police.
According to city spokesperson Ric Barrick, Adams was arrested inside the Union Bank & Trust after city zoning inspector Cory Jordan noticed him trying to the lock the bank's front door behind him. Barrick says Adams had a gun drawn at that point (Barrick could not say what kind of gun), and had already ordered the employees into another part of the bank. In addition, Barrick tells Dish that police also arrested a second suspect, John Joseph Amann of Fredericksburg, presumably the get-away car driver.
As Barrick points out, Jordan's actions not only prevented a bank robbery, they may also have saved lives.
"I feel a bit embarrassed by all the attention, mostly," says Jordan. "I don't think I did anything particularly heroic. I was just lucky enough to be watching the guy as he entered the bank and locked the door, and I guess observant enough to think that was a little odd."
At press time, Barrick couldn't say for sure if the man on Splendora's security camera was Adams. For instance, Jordan said the man was wearing a straw hat, but no hat is in evidence on the security camera footage.
Still, one thing's for sure...Charlottesville's restaurateurs and government employees are true crime fighters!
Fat Tuesday's at Orzo
With the restaurant biz being as competitive as it is in Charlottesville, it's no small gesture that the folks at Orzo in the West Main Market have decided to donate a percentage of their profits each month to a different local charity or non-profit.
Of course, it's not bad marketing either. What could be more guilt-free than knowing that delicious meal you're enjoying is helping the needy? As the slogan the folks at Orzo have chosen for the initiative says, "Eat well and feel good!"
Okay, here's how it works: each Tuesday of the month, Orzo donates 10 percent of the revenue generated during its evening dinner service. After each Tuesday is complete, they'll post how much was collected for each charity on their website, orzokitchen.com.
They've even lined up the non-profits they'll be serving until late into 2008, including the Cancer Center, Building Goodness, Meals on Wheels, the Legal Aid Society, Habitat for Humanity, the SPCA, Boys & Girls Clubs, several school orchestras, WNRN, the American Heart Association, and the Second Street Gallery.
"We feel very fortunate that we have been as successful in our first year as we have been," says co-owner Ken Wooten. "This is our way to express our appreciation to the community. Now those who enjoy dining out will build more than just airline miles!" #