Gainesville Police: Man arrested in bank robbery also suspect in other robberies

Obadiah Dillard. Photo: Gainesville Police.

Gainesville Police say it only took them 45 minutes Wednesday to catch a robbery suspect they've been searching for all week.

Police responded at 1:33 p.m. to an armed robbery at the Wells Fargo branch on 13th Street. Witnesses told police the man left on a bike, matching the same description of a suspect in five other Gainesville robberies in the last six days.

The suspect had managed to get away each time but today police say his luck ran out.

Officer Ben Tobias said 22 school resource officers just happened to be training across the street at Gainesville High School when the call went out. The officers heard the call on their police radio and quickly fanned out to surround the business. He said someone saw the suspect enter an apartment at Georgetown Apartments. Police arrested him at the scene at 2:18 p.m., 45 minutes after the call came in, Tobias said.

"Had it not been for their quick work, the suspect would have likely gotten away again," Tobias said.

Police identified the suspect as 40-year-old Obadiah Dillard. Tobias said Dillard is a suspect in all six robberies, one of which was an Alliance Credit Union on University Avenue. Tobias said Dillard served time in prison for robbing the same credit union in 2009.

Tobias said Dillard is listed as homeless but he's apparently been staying with family members in town. Investigators are working on securing search warrants for places he's stayed to see if they can find evidence connecting him to the other robberies.

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