Vail bank robbed for second time in 9 months
VAIL – Police are searching for a man suspected in the Tuesday afternoon robbery of WestStar Bank in Vail Village, nine months after two Australians, dubbed “Dumb and Dumber” by their hometown press, were nabbed for stealing $130,000 from the bank.Vail officers canvassed the area surrounding the bank at 302 Hanson Ranch Road, as hundreds of skiers and snowboarders crowded the streets at the end of the day.”We’re focusing on all areas,” Sgt. Dirk Ethridge said. “We don’t know if he left or if he’s here.”By Tuesday evening, authorities had not found the man.Police said suspect is a white man is in his early 50s, 6-feet tall and 220 pounds. He was wearing navy-blue pants and a navy-blue nylon jacket with a light-blue stripe across the chest and another stripe on the inside arms. He was wearing a beanie and thin, white cotton gloves.Two employees and a customer were in the bank at the time of the robbery. The man, who didn’t have a weapon, approached a female teller, said Det. Sgt. Susan Douglas. But Douglas would not say how the man robbed the bank or how much money he got away with.The outdoor staircase leading down to the bank was cordoned off in the hopes a police dog could pick up the scent of the man. Meanwhile, bank employees milled about the front of the door.”We have no comment at this time other than we’re glad the people are fine,” bank President Dan Godec said.Police said they would release additional information after interviewing with bank employees and the FBI arrived.The same bank was robbed March 21 by two seasonal ski shop employees. Luke Carroll and Anthony Prince of Australia used BB guns to hold up the bank, making off with nearly $130,000.Both were nabbed by police the following day at Denver International Airport after taking bizarre photos of each other holding the stolen cash. Investigators said some cash was also found in trash bins and the two had mailed some to their Australian addresses.Carroll was sentenced to 5 years in prison while Prince got 412 years. The two childhood friends from the northern coast of New South Wales came to the United States a year ago to work in Vail. The media gave them their inglorious nicknames after details of the robbery surfaced.Prince and Carroll admitted to staking out the bank three days prior to the robbery. Police soon picked up the robbers’ trail. Employees at the bank said the two men spoke with distinct accents and wore name badges similar to the ones where they worked.The descriptions reminded Vail police they had arrested Prince and Carroll for shooting paint balls at a house in East Vail. The police distributed photos of the two to the FBI, which later made it into the hands of a Denver police detective who recognized the two men at the airport.
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Independence Pass opened just before 2 p.m. Friday after closing earlier this week because of a series of snowstorms, a Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman said Friday.