Feds arrest two in failed Palisade bank robbery

A man sought in the Aug. 20 attempted robbery of Palisades National Bank first ambushes a Palisade police officer, removes the officer’s gun and then chases after the fleeing officer.

Two men have been charged in connection with the failed robbery at the former Palisades National Bank in 2011 when a Palisade police officer was disarmed at gunpoint, federal authorities confirmed this morning to The Daily Sentinel.

Jose O. Jimenez was arraigned Thursday in U.S. District Court in Denver following a grand jury indictment on three counts, including attempted robbery with a firearm at Palisades National Bank on Aug. 20, 2011, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The second suspect, Bryan R. Morrow, is being held on unrelated charges in Grand Junction and is expected to make an initial appearance next Wednesday in Grand Junction. Morrow was indicted on a single count of attempted robbery with a firearm.

Jimenez was charged by the grand jury with additional counts of being a fugitive in possession of a firearm, as well as possession of a stolen firearm: A Glock 22 .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun allegedly stolen from a Palisade police officer. Jimenez was a fugitive from Washington state at the time.

The botched robbery at Palisades National, which has since been re-named Colorado National Bank at 600 W. Eighth St., happened during the peak of the Palisade Peach Festival and was believed to be the first attempted bank robbery in Palisade’s history. Authorities have said a man with a hooded sweatshirt, a ski mask, sunglasses and gloves walked into the bank around 8:15 a.m. after confronting the bank’s president at gunpoint in the parking lot.

Responding to a silent alarm, a Palisade officer walked inside the bank — he had not called inside prior to entering — when he was ambushed by the suspect who took the officer’s gun.

When the suspect walked away from the disarmed officer and into another room, the officer sprinted for the front door and the suspect gave chase. The front door locked behind them.

A bank employee’s van was stolen from the parking lot and abandoned less than a quarter of a mile away at 37 1/10 and G 4/10 roads.

Police responding from across the Grand Valley searched the area, but found nothing.

“Mistakes were made, policies were not adhered to,” former Palisade Police Chief Carroll Quarles said in a 2011 interview with The Sentinel. “For the seriousness of the mistakes that were made, this could not have turned out any better: Nobody was hurt, no money was stolen and the only thing damaged here is the pride of the officer and the reputation of the Police Department.”

Palisade Police Chief Tony Erickson said in a prepared statement the incident was “incredibly traumatic” for all involved.

“Thanks to the hard work of the Palisade Police Department and the FBI, we were able to identify those responsible for this crime,” Erickson said.

Read the full story in Saturday’s Daily Sentinel.



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