Bank robbery suspect used note, not weapon |

Bank robbery suspect used note, not weapon

J.K. Perry

VAIL ” A simple note was what a man allegedly used Tuesday to hold up the WestStar Bank in Vail Village. The suspect remained on the loose Wednesday night, police said.

Many details of the robbery ” the second at the bank in less than a year ” are being withheld to ensure police have the right man if he is arrested, Detective Sgt. Susan Douglas said.

Douglas said the man handed the teller an note with an undisclosed message demanding money, which was placed in a bag he was carrying. Bank surveillance tapes are helping the police and FBI direct their investigation, Douglas said.

Withholding details has lead people to incriminate themselves by divulging information not known by the general public, Douglas said.

On Tuesday, police said they were searching for a white man in his 50s, 6 feet tall and 220 pounds. He was wearing dark pants and a navy-blue nylon jacket with a light-blue stripe across the chest and a second stripe on the inside arms.

The robbery is the second for the bank in the past nine months. Anthony Prince and Luke Carroll, seasonal ski shop works from Australia, were convicted of holding up the bank with BB guns in March and are now in prison.

The emotional well-being of bank employees who are robbed is important, and they are often offered counseling, many area bank officials said.

Alpine Bank pays for employees to get private counseling and gives the worker ample time off, Alpine Bank Vice Chairman Dave Cruby said.

“Emotionally, I haven’t been on the other side … but it’s a pretty devastating experience,” Cruby said. “Once reality sets in you’re injured, and for me, trying to heal that is fundamental.”

Wells Fargo has a 24-hour support line for its employees.

“We have a department at Wells Fargo whose sole role is to help out the tellers and bank staff when something goes wrong such as a bank robbery,” said Service Manager Shannon Baron, who works in the company’s Avon branch.

Baron has not been robbed, nor has the bank, but has received some feedback concerning the counseling, she said.

“The people I’ve talked to in the metro area who have been robbed said it’s really helpful,” she said.

After the First Bank in Edwards was robbed, the teller received counseling from Eagle County Victim Services. The bank lacks a specific program, but management does try to help tellers who have been robbed, bank official Mary McDougall said,

“We try to provide as much support for our employees in instances of this nature,” McDougall said.

Whether WestStar Bank provides counseling is unknown. President Dan Godec did not return phone messages Wednesday.

Staff Writer J.K. Perry can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14622, or

Vail, Colorado

Support Local Journalism