Man robs West Glenwood bank, eludes massive manhunt

by Chad Abraham, Aspen Daily News Staff Writer

A man who robbed the Alpine Bank branch in West Glenwood Springs on Thursday morning, and then left a package behind that he indicated was a bomb, eluded a massive manhunt.

The bank near the West Glenwood mall was evacuated, nearby schools were locked down and the bomb squad from the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office used a robot to X-ray the package, which was empty, said Glenwood Springs Police Chief Terry Wilson.

Around 9 a.m., the suspect, described as dark-skinned and wearing a hoodie pulled tight to obscure his face, followed an employee inside as the person was opening the business. He apparently did not have a gun.

“He followed her in the door and set something on the counter that he basically inferred was a bomb,” Wilson said. “She took it to mean this is a bomb so we took it” to mean the same thing.

The man escaped on foot with an unknown amount of money toward the adjacent Ford dealership, discarding the sweatshirt and other clothes in the process. Police obtained surveillance from nearby businesses that showed the man’s escape route. Officers also went door to door at homes to inquire if residents saw the man.

Glenwood Springs Middle School, which is just east of the mall, was locked down, and a similar procedure occurred at Two Rivers Community School near the dealership.

The box was taken to a location outside the city and dismantled, Wilson said.

As of 4 p.m. Thursday, law enforcement was still looking for the suspect.

chad@aspendailynews.com