Aspen bomber ID’d as suspect in Vail bank robberies |

Aspen bomber ID’d as suspect in Vail bank robberies

Published: Special to the Daily

VAIL, Colorado ” Vail Police say the man who placed bombs around Aspen on New Year’s Eve may be behind two robberies of WestStar Bank in Vail Village, Colorado.

James Blanning has been named as a “prime suspect” in the WestStar Bank robberies in Vail Village on Dec. 25, 2005, and July 3, 2006.

Blanning killed himself hours after delivering bombs to Aspen banks and demanding money from them on New Year’s Eve.

Vail Detective Sgt. Craig Bettis said he immediately noticed similarities between Blanning and the images of the robber taken from surveillance photos from the July 3 bank robbery in Vail.

Investigators believe the same man robbed the bank in 2005 and 2006. In both cases, the man delivered a note announcing the hold-up.

The suspect is described as a white, middle-aged male, about 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall with medium build, wearing sunglasses and white gloves.

The same bank was robbed in 2005 by Luke Carroll and Anthony Prince, two Australian workers who pleaded guilty to the bank robbery and were sentenced to five and four and a half years of prison, respectively.

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