Grand Junction bank robbery suspect arrested after Vegas heist

A Grand Junction man is facing federal charges in connection with a bank robbery on the Redlands last summer.

Douglas James, 25, remains in federal custody in Las Vegas, Nev., where he was arrested on suspicion of robbing a bank there Aug. 19, apparently wearing the same clothing as in the Grand Junction robbery.

Federal agents found a Jake Plummer Denver Broncos jersey and a blue baseball cap with the letter F in white on the front, a reddish-brown wig, a white, long-sleeve T-shirt and a black, semi-automatic pellet gun.

Victims of the robbery at the Wells Fargo Bank branch, 2251 Broadway, on July 17 said they were held up by a man wearing a Plummer jersey and a similar hat and shirt and who waved a black semi-automatic handgun, an affidavit said.

In the Grand Junction robbery, the lone gunman demanded that tellers put money into a white pillowcase and cycled the action on his handgun for two bank employees to hear, according to the affidavit.

The robber told the employees “Don’t look at me,” “I’m going to shoot this mother,” and other warnings, the affidavit said.

At one point, the robber looked directly at an employee and said, “Don’t move, I will shoot you,” the affidavit said.

The robber, described as 6 feet 3 inches, 160 pounds, escaped by unknown means with more than $14,000, the affidavit said.

A month later, on Aug. 18, a man wearing a wig, dark blue baseball cap with a letter on the front and long-sleeve T-shirt walked into a Nevada State Bank branch in Las Vegas and displayed a black handgun that was tucked into his jeans.

The robber demanded money several times, saying, “I know you have more money, give me more,” the affidavit said.

Tellers put money and a tracking device in the white bag supplied by the robber, who fled. Authorities used the signal from the tracking device to lead them to a 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix with a temporary Colorado registration, the affidavit said.

Officers said they saw one of the occupants of the car, David Jeffery Delph of Grand Junction, throw the tracking device into the trash. When officers stopped the car, the other occupant, Marlo Newkirk, also of Grand Junction, said Douglas James owned the car, police said.

Employees at the Nevada bank identified James as the robber from photographs, the affidavit said.

A day before the Grand Junction robbery, James and a girlfriend agreed to buy a 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix from a Grand Junction dealership and were to make a $3,000 payment on the car the following day.

James and the girlfriend, however, failed to show up on July 17, but James did appear on July 18 and paid the $3,000 in cash, with $20 and $100 bills, investigators were told.

Mary Manfred, the mother of James’ girlfriend, Dominicque Deon Smith, told investigators James bought a new car and moved with her daughter to Las Vegas on July 21.

James’ father, Edward James, told investigators his unemployed son, his girlfriend and her two children were living with him for a time, but went to Las Vegas when he asked them to leave.

Douglas James faces at least 20 years in prison if convicted on the bank-robbery charge.


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