Glenwood Springs robbery suspect had been a bank customer |

Glenwood Springs robbery suspect had been a bank customer

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Alpine Bank employees say they recognized the man who allegedly robbed the bank last month from his previous visits to the West Glenwood Springs branch.

Bank staff told authorities the “annoying kid” always came alone and had visited the bank around four or five times over the past few years to cash checks and get notarizations. The suspect also apparently did not have a real firearm, but flashed a BB gun that looked like a handgun, according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation arrest warrant affidavit.

The affidavit said the teller gave the robber “the $100s, $50s and some of the $20s from his drawer.” Officials have not released information on the total amount.

The West Glenwood bank was robbed Dec. 15 around 4:30 p.m. while two tellers were present. A white male went to the desk, wrote a note and handed it to a teller with a plastic bag, then lifted his hooded sweatshirt to show what looked like a handgun on his waist. The teller gave the man money from the drawer. The robber said, “Get the key for the bank vault,” his only words during the robbery, the affidavit says.

The tellers told the robber they couldn’t find the key. The robber hesitated for a moment then walked out of the bank. Tellers pushed an alarm button and locked the front door but didn’t see where the robber went. The robber wore only a hooded sweatshirt with the hood up and no mask.

Authorities arrested Jeffrey David Smith, 27, of Glenwood Springs, on Dec. 22 at a Las Vegas hotel on suspicion of a federal bank robbery charge and parole violation. The bank robbery charge could carry up to 20 years of prison and a $250,000 fine.

One of the tellers thought the robber had been to the bank before but couldn’t remember who he was. Authorities identified Smith as the suspect by talking with other bank employees and reviewing bank records, the arrest warrant affidavit says, and tellers present during the robbery identified Smith in photo lineups.

Smith missed a parole meeting the day after the robbery. He sent a cell phone text message to his landlord saying, “I am not going to my parole meeting today. Thus a warrant will be issued and I will be in prison at some point,” the FBI said.

A Dec. 18 search at Smith’s home, which is less than a mile from the bank, turned up packaging for a black BB gun that looked like the gun used during the robbery in Smith’s room, the FBI said.

After Smith was arrested, the FBI and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department searched his hotel room and allegedly found the BB gun and the green hooded sweatshirt used in the robbery.

Smith graduated from Glenwood Springs High School in 2000. He has a severe gambling addiction and a history of stealing to support it, according to letters to judges from Smith and his family and friends. Smith once wrote that he didn’t enjoy relapsing into gambling addiction, even if he happened to be winning.

Smith worked as a night auditor for around a year at the Ramada Inn, which was robbed by an armed man before Thanksgiving. A hotel manager said Smith was probably involved because the robber checked certain places where money used to be kept that only a former employee would have looked.

Smith entered guilty pleas in theft cases from 2003 and 2004, when he was accused of stealing golf clubs from the River Valley Ranch Golf Club pro shop in Carbondale and later stealing his father’s boat and selling it on eBay for more than $15,000, court records show.

In those cases Smith received months in jail, terms of probation and later community corrections. He violated probation multiple times and got a two-year prison sentence in February 2007.

Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121

Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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