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Home  >  Topics  >  Investigations

October 17, 2003
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Police Believe Colo. Robber Tied to 4 Other Holdups With Fake Bombs

The Associated Press

LONGMONT, Colo. (AP) -- Police think a man who forced a woman to rob the bank where she works with what she believed was a bomb is responsible for other Denver-area bank robberies.

Longmont police hope surveillance video of a March bank robbery in their city will lead to the man's arrest.

In that holdup, a man in a gray business suit asked to open a new account at the Compass Bank. He showed an employee a gun and a briefcase he said contained a bomb. He escaped in an employee's car, which he left a few blocks away.

Authorities believe the same man robbed three other banks dating to November 2001. They were in Longmont, Golden and Westminster.

"It appears to be the same suspect," Longmont police Cmdr. Craig Earhart said.

In all but the first robbery, the suspect used fake bombs to threaten bank employees.

The latest robbery police believe is tied to the man was at a Compass Bank Wednesday in Arvada. A 49-year-old woman, whose name was not released, told police a man kidnapped her from a restaurant and threatened to blow up a package he said contained a bomb if she didn't rob her bank.

The woman took the package into the bank and was released unharmed after the man fled with the stolen money. Police said the package didn't hold a bomb.

Authorities would not comment on similarities in the case to an Aug. 28 bank robbery outside Erie, Pa., where a man told police he had been forced to rob a bank by a man who locked a bomb around his neck. The bomb exploded a short time later, killing him.

The suspect in Wednesday's holdup was described as a white man in his 40s, about 6 feet tall with thinning brown hair. Witnesses said he was wearing jeans, a dark baseball cap and dark sweatshirt.

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