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Cody bank robbed Tuesday

Previous robbery attempt aborted

FBI agents and Cody police are looking for a man who fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash after robbing the First Bank of Wyoming in Cody just before noon Tuesday.

The man, described as between 5 feet, 8 inches and 5 feet, 10 inches in height and 30-35 years of age, handed a teller a note demanding money at 11:23 a.m. No weapon was displayed during the robbery, Cody Police Chief Perry Rockvam said in a news release a short time later.

The suspect wore a red Oklahoma University baseball cap, wrap-around sunglasses, a white T-shirt and blue jeans, the release said.

That robbery followed an aborted robbery attempt Tuesday morning at Sunlight Federal Credit Union at 1707 17th St. in Cody.

A man with the same height description, but with an estimated age of 25-30, handed the teller there a note demanding money at 8:53 a.m., but then fled on foot, according to an earlier release from the Cody Police Department.

The man in that attempt wore a faded baseball-style cap, sunglasses, a long-sleeve camouflage T-shirt with a white shirt underneath and blue jeans. He was clean-shaven and his hair appeared to be short and brown, closely cut on the sides, according to the release.

Ty Nelson, president of First Bank of Wyoming, said the branch manager had come in 10 minutes before the robbery to make sure the tellers were aware of the previous attempt at Sunlight Federal Credit Union and that they were familiar with the suspect’s description.

Then, “when he came in, the tellers thought he was the individual,” Nelson said.

The robbery lasted only about 30 seconds, said Nelson, who had viewed a video of the robbery.

“Our teller was very calm and very professional, and she handled it perfectly,” he said. “The suspect was visibly nervous; he was actually shaking. She was incredibly calm throughout the whole incident.”

The video was turned over to Cody police, who provided it to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Dave Joly, FBI public affairs specialist in Denver, said all bank robberies are investigated by bureau agents because the money is federally insured.

“That’s the reason for our jurisdiction,” he said.

In addition, the bureau has agents across the country and can conduct investigations in multiple states when crimes cross state borders.

Joly said agents are working to determine whether the robbery and the earlier attempt in Cody were committed by the same person, and whether there might be more than one person involved.

They’re also looking into the possibility that the Cody robbery could be connected to bank robberies late last week in Oklahoma and in Cheyenne, he said.

“All of that is a possibility,” he said. “We’re not ruling that out. We’re keeping all options open.”

Joly said the dollar amount of money stolen in a bank robbery never is released to the public, but it often is a small amount.

“Normally, it’s just the amount in the one drawer,” he said. “It depends on the day of week, the day of the month and how much money is on hand.”

Nelson said First Bank of Wyoming is providing counseling to employees who feel they need it to deal with the emotional trauma from the robbery.

“We’re not worried about the money,” he said. “The employees are our concern.”

The bank is not planning any other changes, he said, since the emergency plan worked exactly as it was supposed to.

“We had a plan in place, and we do annual training on it,” Nelson said. “The staff did exactly as the plan (directed) and did an outstanding job.”

That ensured a far better outcome than might have occurred otherwise, he said.

“The last time this happened at one of our banks was in 1939,” Nelson said. “The Earl Durand robbery. In that robbery, one of our tellers was killed, and the bank robber was as well. We’re glad that the outcome of this one was better for everyone involved.”

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