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FBI picks up Cody bank robbery investigation

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CODY – The president of a bank that was robbed Tuesday praised his staff for staying calm and following protocol, and said counseling was available to employees and families if needed.

The FBI on Wednesday took charge of the investigation into the robbery of First Bank of Wyoming and the failed robbery earlier Tuesday of Sunlight Federal Credit Union.

FBI spokesman Dave Joly, based in Denver, confirmed that the agency was working on the case, hoping the public would soon identify the robber from images taken at the two banks.

The same man is believed to be involved in both incidents.

“We still have some leads we’re following up on and we’re working with our state and federal partners on this,” Joly said. “We’re considering all factors at this point, and we’ll link those factors if they exist.”

The two banks were open for business on Wednesday and the crime remained the talk of the town. At lunchtime, students huddled around a radio, hoping to catch an update on the robbery over the local news.

Ty Nelson, president of First Bank of Wyoming, said his staff handled the situation well. The bank was fully staffed on Wednesday and business functioned as usual.

“We have a plan in place in the event of a robbery and we do training on it,” Nelson said. “They did everything they’re supposed to do. The main thing is that nobody gets hurt. You have to use those plans and they worked well.”

Coincidentally, Nelson said, the bank had already scheduled robbery training for later in the week. Tuesday’s actual robbery pre-empted that training.

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Nelson said police had planned to participate in the robbery training. Officers often teach bank employees what to look for and how police respond to the activation of a silent alarm.

“It involves what to look for and what you want to do and don’t want to do,” Nelson said. “It’s in line with our own plans. We have security measures in place and it worked the way it was supposed to on Tuesday.”

Nelson declined to say whether the bills taken in Tuesday’s robbery were marked or traceable. He said he couldn’t discuss the bank’s robbery plan or how much money was stolen.

He said the bank has procedures to follow in the aftermath of a robbery. The staff, he added, was shaken by the incident, but the employees were doing well.

“After the incident, our main concerns are for the employees and the extended family,” Nelson said. “It was an emotional day. We have employee assistance and employee counseling if they need it. They handled it remarkably well.”

On Tuesday afternoon, the Cody Police Department released surveillance images of the failed robbery of Sunlight Federal. On Wednesday, the department released images of the robbery of First Bank of Wyoming.

The FBI hopes the pictures will help identify the robber.

“You get as many as 20 years for robbing a bank,” Joly said. “The money you get is minimal. We never take the chance that if they’re just passing a note that they might also be armed.”

The man in the attempted robbery of Sunlight Federal is described as 25 to 30 years old and about 5 feet, 10 inches tall. He was wearing a faded baseball cap, sunglasses, blue jeans and a long-sleeved camouflage shirt with a white T-shirt underneath.

The man in the second incident was described in similar terms of height and age, and wearing a University of Oklahoma baseball cap, wrap-around sunglasses, a white T-shirt and blue jeans.

He is described as clean-shaven with short brown hair closely cut on the sides.


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