Arrest in El Jebel bank robbery | AspenTimes.com

Arrest in El Jebel bank robbery

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – A Glenwood Springs man was taken into custody late Friday night on suspicion of robbing the Vectra Bank in El Jebel.

Jeremy Harmon, 38, surrendered at the Glenwood Springs Police Department on Friday night after learning that a judge had signed a Basalt police warrant for his arrest, said Basalt Sgt. Stu Curry.

He faces Class-4 felony charges of robbery and theft, Curry said Saturday.

Harmon was booked into the Eagle County Jail at 11:10 p.m. Friday, a jail official said. As of 4 p.m. Saturday, he remained in custody on $10,000 bond, the jailer said.

About 10:20 a.m. Friday, Harmon allegedly went into the bank, at 218 E. Valley Road, handed a teller a note and demanded cash. He was wearing a dark mask, dark classes and a hooded sweatshirt at the time of the incident, police said.

The robber left the bank by foot with an undisclosed sum of cash. He is believed to have acted alone in the crime.

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The same bank was robbed on March 2 by a man wearing similar clothing, police said. The same teller was involved, as well.

Curry said he believes Harmon acted alone Friday. He declined to say whether Harmon is a suspect in the March caper.

“That is something we are investigating,” he said. “At this time, we’re not going to comment on that.”

Curry could not say precisely how much money the robber allegedly stole from the bank Friday, yet the pending theft charge stated that it was more than $1,000 but less than $2,500, Curry said. Police retained “most of the cash,” Curry noted.

Curry confirmed a source’s report to The Aspen Times that the Crawford family, owners of the El Jebel commercial area and mobile home park, learned of the bank robbery and heard that the suspect was seen fleeing toward their property. They checked their video surveillance cameras’ recordings at the El Jebel Plaza from the time of the robbery and were able to get a lead on a vehicle the robber possibly used.

They supplied a still image of the vehicle to authorities, and it was circulated among valley law enforcement agencies.

That led to Pitkin County dispatcher Brandon March, while off duty, spotting a white Ford F250 flatbed truck matching the description headed east on Highway 82, Curry said.

The dispatcher’s wife, Aspen Police Officer Vanessa March, happened to be on duty at the time and tracked the vehicle to near the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport, Curry said.

March then called for backup, and upper valley police followed the vehicle to Clark’s Market in Aspen. Police subsequently questioned Harmon, the driver of the truck, about the robbery, telling him that he was a person of interest, Curry said. However, police did not have enough evidence to arrest him at the time and released him.

Later that evening, Basalt police obtained a warrant for Harmon’s arrest, Curry said. Curry said he called Harmon to let him know he would be arrested. Harmon later surrendered to authorities at Glenwood’s police headquarters, Curry said.

“He was very agreeable,” Curry said.

Curry said Harmon, who did not have a full-time job, told police he was having financial difficulties.

Public records show that Harmon had no criminal history in Colorado, just minor traffic infractions such as two instances when police cited him for failure to have automobile insurance. The first infraction occurred in August 2010 in Pitkin County, the second in January 2011 in Garfield County. He also was ticketed in May 2010 in Basalt for failure to wear a seat belt, records show.

Most recently, Harmon was subject to an eviction notice in Garfield County. The case, for which the outcome was not immediately available, was closed June 20, records show.

Curry said the arrest was a valleywide effort.

“For us to be able to put that together, it was an amazing group effort by valley law enforcement,” he said.

rcarroll@aspentimes.com