Roaring Fork Valley sees spate of bank robberies

A bank robbery at the Wells Fargo bank in Carbondale at closing time Saturday was the third robbery in the Roaring Folk Valley in as many months.

Carbondale police and the FBI are investigating the incident in which police said a male suspect entered the bank, 1201 Colorado Highway 133, used a handgun to threaten five employees and a customer and bound their hands behind their backs before fleeing. No one was injured in the incident, which occurred just before 4 p.m.

Carbondale Police Chief Gene Shilling said he couldn’t release whether the suspect escaped with any cash.

A bank robbery is not a common event in Carbondale, a town with a population of about 6,000 people, which is south of Glenwood Springs and north west of Aspen.

The Roaring Fork Bank, which is now the Alpine Bank, was robbed sometime between 1978 and 1983, Shilling said, an incident that occurred before he was police chief.

In El Jebel, an even smaller town of about 3,800 people, a Vectra Bank branch was robbed on March 2, when a robber with his face shrouded in a ski hat and wearing ski gloves demanded cash and escaped with an undisclosed amount of cash, police said.

On April 27, police responded to a robbery at the US Bank in Glenwood Springs. That suspect handed tellers a note demanding cash. The note indicated the man had a gun, but a gun was not displayed during the incident, witnesses told police.

The previous two robberies occurred on Fridays.

The suspect in the bank robbery in Carbondale stole an employee’s vehicle, but the vehicle has been recovered. Police and the FBI are looking for clues in the vehicle and at the scene of the bank, Shilling said.

The suspect is described as a white male, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, 150 pounds, with dark sunglasses, and possibly wearing a long straight black wig and fake mustache. He was dressed in a long-sleeve gray shirt, gray pants and black shoes.


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