Police arrest man wanted in Tuesday’s bank robbery, attempted robbery

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Joseph Paul Howard III

Wilmington police found a man they were searching for in connection with Tuesday’s bank robbery and attempted robbery hiding his attic on Tuesday night.

Joseph Paul Howard III, 35, was arrested at his home in the 100 block of North Carolina Avenue at about 8 p.m. Tuesday, according to Wilmington Police Department Spokeswoman Cathryn Lindsay. Howard has been charged with common law robbery and attempted common law robbery, according to jail records.

The attempted robbery was reported at 2:15 p.m. at the Bank of America at 1929 Carolina Beach Road. It was unclear if any money was taken and it does not appear that a weapon was used, Lindsay said.

Read related story: WPD investigates bank robbery, attempted robbery on Tuesday afternoon

“He just came to the front window and said he wanted money,” Lindsay said.

The second robbery was reported about 2 miles away at the First Citizens Bank at 2200 S. 17th St. at 2:34 p.m. The initial report about the First Citizens Bank incident did not mention a weapon, so police did not know if a weapon was used, Lindsay said. Howard allegedly stole an unknown amount of money in the First Citizens’ robbery, Lindsay said.

He was booked at the New Hanover County jail early Wednesday morning under a $250,000 secured bond.

According to the N.C. Department of Corrections, Howard has been convicted of more than a dozen felonies, including breaking and entering, burglary and financial card fraud, as well as several misdemeanors.

Howard faces two counts of simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance, two counts of being a habitual felon, one count of habitual breaking and entering, six counts of felony larceny, one count of larceny after breaking and entering, one count of first-degree burglary, six counts of breaking and entering and three counts of injury to real property in New Hanover County Superior Court, according to court records.

Port City Daily reporter Christina Haley contributed to this report.