“A bank robber is a threat. If you don’t give him what he wants, who knows what can happen? Whether the person has a gun or not has no bearing on the situation. The first and foremost concern is for the safety of all the employees and any customers.”
— Terry Jost, Mountain Valley Bank president and chief executive officer
Twenty-four hours after the first bank robbery in Meeker in 116 years, Mountain Valley Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Terry Jost praised his employees for following company protocol.
“We have established procedures for dealing with these kinds of threats and basically tellers are trained to treat it (a robbery) as a transaction,” Jost said. “The goal is to get the person off the premises as soon as possible, secure the building and make sure they don’t come back.”
Jock Thacker, a Louisiana man, alleged robbed Mountain Valley Bank on Thursday. He was arrested on suspicion of bank robbery a short time later.
Authorities reported he did not use a weapon.
Whether the suspect was armed is irrelevant, Jost said.
“A bank robber is a threat,” he said. “If you don’t give him what he wants, who knows what can happen? Whether the person has a gun or not has no bearing on the situation. The first and foremost concern is for the safety of all the employees and any customers.
“The money is the least important thing. You can always replace money, but you can’t replace life.”
Jost said the money Thacker is suspected of stealing was returned to the bank, but he would not comment on how much was taken.
Meeker Police Department officials would not divulge the amount, either, but said it was not a large sum.
“There is a huge misconception about how much cash a bank would have on hand and how much cash a teller would have on hand,” Jost said. “The amount he got was very nominal and it certainly wasn’t worth screwing up the rest of his life.”
Jost said banks today probably have about a third as much cash in branches today as compared to 20 or 30 years ago.
The primary reason, he said, is technology has changed how transactions are handled.
“They’re not using cash, they’re using debit cards,” Jost said. “Cash just isn’t needed, it’s not necessary anymore.”
Meeker authorities released few details Friday as “the investigation is still ongoing.”
But, contrary to police reports Thursday, Jost said the Meeker branch of Mountain Valley Bank reopened at 2 p.m. Thursday, a few hours after the robbery.
“And we’re open today,” Jost said. “It’s back to business as usual.”
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