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Police believe suspect robbed a truck stop in Wells, stole a car in Idaho



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By MARLENE GARCIA
June 17, 2005

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Fallon police believe a man who robbed a Flying J truck stop in Wells June 10 may be the same person who tried to rob the Wells Fargo Bank inside Safeway here two weeks ago.



"We're pretty sure he's the same person. In that one he used a gun," Assistant Police Chief Ray Dolan said about the Wells robbery.

He said based on the physical description from witnesses, and surveillance photos from the truck stop, detectives are exploring the possibility that the same man is responsible for the two crimes. The same person is also a suspect in four other robberies.

The suspect is also linked to a stolen vehicle from an Idaho car dealership.

"We know for a fact he was involved in the theft of a car in Rexburg, Idaho on Tuesday," Dolan added.


The suspect told auto dealership employees he wanted to test drive a vehicle, leaving behind a photocopy of a stolen California driver's license, police said. The same identification was used in Fallon at Sierra Jewelry and Loan where the suspect pawned jewelry June 4, the day before the attempted hold up at Wells Fargo Bank on West Williams Avenue, Dolan said.

Detective Jerry Edwards, who is investigating the Fallon cases, also learned the suspect registered at a local motel and paid for two nights - May 30 and May 31. No vehicle information was recorded on the motel registration card and police won't reveal the specific Fallon motel where the suspect stayed.

A description of the car thief matches the description given by witnesses in the Fallon bank.


"The guy out here had a shaved head and two eyeballs tattooed on the back of his coconut," said Capt. Randy Lewis of the Rexburg, Idaho Police Department.

Lewis said the suspect was traveling with a woman and his police department has composite drawing of both suspects.

Lewis said the man came into a used car dealership and wanted to test drive a 1999 Ford Expedition, leaving a copy of the phony driver's license.

"He never returned and after some time we were called," said Lewis. "Then we got calls from Fallon, Nev., Washington and California that he was involved in some armed robberies. We don't think he's still here," he said.


The suspect wanted in Fallon is also implicated in bank robberies in Vancouver, Wash. on May 26 and in Bishop, Calif. on June 1. He is also linked to two bank robberies in Oregon.

On June 5, a man handed a local teller a note written on Econo Lodge stationery that said, "This is a robbery lay the 100s, 50s and 20s on the counter and HURRY!"

He left the Safeway store without any cash after the teller didn't respond to his note.

Marlene Garcia can be contacted at mgarcia@lahontanvalleynews.com



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