U.S. Marshals captured the man local authorities say robbed several area banks including three in Mountain Brook and possible one in Pelham. Tuesday evening, FOX6 News spoke exclusively with the Jimmy Dawson Cunningham Jr.'s wife.
Jodi Cunningham says that she still hasn't spoken to her husband after his arrest Tuesday morning. She also says she's relieved her husband has been caught and at least now she knows he's safe.
Police say Jimmy, a professional chef, is responsible for robbing at least five banks in Alabama since the first of this year. Jodi says when he went missing this month she reported it to police.
"I had the missing persons report out for him. Then the detectives called me on my job and told me I needed to identify these pictures of him. That's how I found out," Jodi said.
Police say Jimmy robbed banks in Cullman, Jefferson County, Pelham and Mountain Brook. But Jodi says the man she sees in the police photographs is not the loving husband she remembers.
"Jimmy is a sweet caring person. Would give you the shirt off his back. Would do anything for you," Jodi said.
Jodi believes recent stress at a new job triggered a past problem with drugs leading him to rob the banks.
"He was working so much, there was no Christmas bonus. I think it pushed him over the edge. I really do," Jodi said.
Like Jodi, Jimmy's former employer Rusty Creel, owner of Michael's restaurant in Homewood, says this behavior was out of the norm for Jimmy.
"Jimmy worked for me for several years. Never any problems, no drug problems. He did a very good job for us. He had drug problems in his past which probably went bad for him at his new job. This is way out of character for him. He's not a bad person, he's not a violent person," Creel said.
Jodi says she hopes her husband's situation proves addiction is blind.
"People don't understand what a grip it gets on you and it will make you lose the entire life you have. It's not just people on corners in downtown Birmingham. It's far reaching. Once it gets a hold of you, you'll do anything," Jodi said.
As for the future Jodi says she and Jimmy will have to pick up the pieces and do the best they can.
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