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Police believe same robber hit four Salt Lake County banks

Published February 2, 2013 11:13 pm

Crime • Salt Lake spree began Friday; witness tracked suspects to home.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Two men were arrested and booked into jail Saturday for a string of four robberies in Salt Lake County that police say ended when a witness to the last of the heists followed the alleged robbers home in his car.

The hold-ups began just after 10 a.m. on Friday, when a man walked into the First Utah Bank near 4900 W. 3500 South and verbally demanded money from the teller, said West Valley City police Sgt. Jason Hauer. He didn't get any cash, and took off in a green Pontiac with a getaway driver, Hauer said.

That afternoon, investigators suspect the same man hit a Zions Bank at 8375 W. 3500 South in Magna at about 1:30 p.m. This time, he showed the teller a note demanding money and alluding to a weapon, then fled with an undisclosed amount of money, also in a green Pontiac Grand Am, Unified Police Department Lt. Justin Hoyal said.

The robberies continued at about 10 a.m. Saturday, when a man robbed an America First Credit Union at 4976 W. 3500 South, by handing a teller a note similar to the one in the previous robbery, Hauer said. The man fled with an undisclosed amount of cash and met up with a getaway driver waiting in a green Pontiac, Hauer said.

At about 1 p.m. Saturday, Hoyal said, the man robbed a US Bank near 4100 S. Redwood Road. He handed the teller a note, but when the employee asked him about it, he verbally demanded money and then fled — once again, in a green Pontiac Grand Am.

The suspect never displayed a weapon and no one was injured in any of the robberies.

A witness followed the Pontiac from US Bank to a house near 1600 W. Shelley Avenue (2817 South). Police were already on the trail, acting on a tip from someone who recognized a surveillance photo that UPD had circulated through the media.

"We were in that area [already] and arrived at that house quickly, set up containment and called the suspect out," Hoyal said. The suspect, two other males and a female all came out without incident, he said.

Police arrested a 19-year-old man, whom they believe is the main suspect in the robberies and booked him into jail on suspicion of bank robbery. A second man, 18, was booked on suspicion of aggravated robbery and obstruction of justice, police said in a news release.

A third male and the woman who were also taken into custody were questioned and released, Hoyal said.

— Tribune reporter Jennifer Dobner contributed to this report.

mmcfall@sltrib.com

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