Officer's hunch about car leads to suspect

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Galax bank robbery suspect arrested in Ivanhoe

By April Wright, Reporter

An officer's hunch and some thorough police work led police to a suspect in the Aug. 4  robbery of Woodforest National Bank inside of Walmart in Galax.
Debra Lynn Graveley, 54, was arrested without incident Saturday at her home in Ivanhoe.


The arrest came with the assistance of a Wytheville Police Department officer who developed an investigative lead that resulted in Galax detectives traveling to Wythe County to locate the suspect.
Galax Police Chief Rick Clark said a police officer in Wytheville thought that the suspect's early model Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais Cadillac — captured on the security camera in the Walmart parking lot — resembled a vehicle that was once owned by his father.
After the linking the vehicle to the suspect, investigators then searched records at the Department of Motor Vehicles to find a driver's license photograph of Gravely that matched the suspect's description.
Gravely was arrested by Galax detectives Robbie Isom and J.B. Greer with the assistance of the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office.
At the time of the robbery, bank employees told officers that a white female approached the tellers and showed them a robbery note. The note alleged that there was a second male suspect who was armed and would shoot if the employees did not comply.
The female suspect was given the amount of money specified in the note. Clark would not comment on how much money was taken during the robbery.
Galax police do not believe that a second suspect was involved.
Gravely is being held without bond in the New River Valley Regional Jail pending her first appearance in Galax General District Court.