Richfield robbery suspect arrested for allegedly robbing other banks

By Chandler Inions, Salisbury Post

The Concord man suspected in the March 25 robbery of a Salisbury F&M Bank was taken into custody on Thursday.

According to a press release from the Black Mountain Police Department, Kevin “Kelvin” Wayne Simmons, 53, was apprehended after a license plate reader detected a vehicle he was driving.

Black Mountain Police responded to an automated warrant notification at the same time that the Buncombe County Public Safety Communications dispatched a shots-fired call on State Street in Black Mountain.

According to the release, officers identified the vehicle in the license plate reader notification and initiated a traffic stop. As officers initiated the stop, Simmons released two passengers who were cooperative with the police.

The driver of the vehicle was identified as Simmons, who had outstanding warrants for multiple bank robberies across North Carolina, including the Salisbury F&M, and banks in Statesville and Mooresville.

Based on the information received, Simmons was reportedly calling dispatch centers reporting shots fired before initiating the bank robberies. BMPD indicated that it believed Simmons was preparing to rob a bank in Black Mountain, as he was spotted within moments of the erroneous shots fired call and the license plate reader alert.

Simmons reportedly led officers on a high-speed chase traveling on I-40 at speeds of over 115 mph. During the pursuit, Simmons entered I-26 traveling the wrong way and struck several vehicles.

After crashing, Simmons reportedly exited the wrecked vehicle and reportedly attempted to carjack a vehicle that had stopped on the highway. Bystanders wrestled Simmons to the ground and held him until Black Mountain Police arrived and took him into custody.

Kelvin Simmons was arrested after robbing First Bank in Richfield and making a false threat of an active shooter on Pfeiffer’s campus in March 2022.

Simmons had outstanding arrest warrants in Rowan, Henderson, Mecklenburg, Gaston and Cabarrus counties. The warrants included multiple charges, including robbery with a dangerous weapon, attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, fleeing to elude arrest, second-degree kidnapping and attempted common law robbery.

Editor’s Note: In March 2022 he was arrested for allegedly calling in an active shooter threat at Pfeiffer University to divert law enforcement and make a First Bank of Richfield more vulnerable to robbery.