Charges have been filed against a 21-year-old Louisiana man suspected of an April 12 robbery at Mountain Valley Bank in Meeker.
Jock Waylon Thacker, of Louisiana, is charged in Rio Blanco County Court with robbery and theft of $1,000 to $20,000, both Class 4 felonies.
According to court documents, Thacker allegedly entered the bank, 400 Main St., just after 9 a.m. April 12 and approached the teller counter.
Bank employee Kimberly Gould reported to authorities that she asked Thacker if he needed assistance.
He then unfolded a receipt with a note on the back reading, “Don’t be crazy, take the money out of the register and place it on the counter and no one gets hurt,” according to court documents.
An audit of the teller drawer completed after the robbery determined $1,279 had been taken from the bank, court records state.
Gould reported the suspect was wearing a straw cowboy hat, a beige Western-style shirt, blue jeans, cowboy boots, and spurs.
A reverse 911 page was issued by the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office communication center to put local residents on alert.
Less than an hour after the robbery, Meeker Police Department officer Jim Amick apprehended Thacker in a cow pasture on the south bank of the White River near Cole Field Services, 163 Water St.
A standard search of the suspect revealed Thacker had $1,279 in cash on him, according to court documents.
On April 11, the night before the robbery, Thacker spent the night with a Meeker woman, according to court records.
At approximately 8:45 a.m. April 12, the woman drove Thacker back to his cabin at the Rustic Lodge, 173 First St., where owner Andrea Gonzales later reported Thacker had been staying for about a month.
At around 9:11 a.m., approximately 10 minutes after the robbery, Thacker phoned the Meeker woman and asked her to pick him up at his cabin, court documents state.
It’s unclear what transpired during the next 30 minutes, but at 9:41 a.m. the woman received a text message from her uncle that a notification had been issued by county authorities.
The woman read the text aloud, to which Thacker reportedly responded, “How did you know I robbed the bank?”
According to court documents, the woman asked Thacker why he robbed the bank.
“I need the money to get home to Louisiana,” he said, according to court documents.
Authorities assume that Thacker and the woman then parted ways.
He returned to his rental cabin at the Rustic Lodge to change clothes.
Soon after Thacker was spotted by Thomas George, a manager at Cole Field Services, wearing a red shirt, blue jeans and a red baseball cap, and “wandering aimlessly” in George’s truck yard, according to court documents.
George called Michael Joos, Rio Blanco County Undersheriff, and reported a suspicious person matching the description of the suspect.
Joos instructed George to keep an eye on him.
Attempting to elude authorities, Thacker entered the Sulphur Creek drainage heading south toward the White River.
George followed and witnessed Thacker cross the White River on foot, according to court documents.
When authorities arrived, George pointed out Thacker, who was apprehended by Amick and Meeker Police Chief Bob Hervey on the south bank of the White River.
Thacker was “wet from head to toe,” according to court records.
Upon conducting a routine safety pat down, Thacker told Amick “the money is in my pants,” according to court documents.
Amick asked the suspect where the money came from.
Thacker responded, “The bank.”
Thacker is in custody at Rio Blanco County Jail on $10,000 bond.
He is represented by public defender Sara Steele, and is scheduled to appear April 27 for arraignment in Rio Blanco County Court.
Eugene Tardy, Rio Blanco County chief deputy district attorney for the Ninth Judicial District, is prosecuting Thacker.
For more on this story, see Friday's Craig Daily Press or visit www.craigdailypress.com.