Meeker robbery suspect arraigned Friday

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Jock Waylon Thacker

The case involving a 21-year-old Louisiana man suspected of robbing a bank in Meeker is scheduled to continue next month in Rio Blanco District Court.

Jock Waylon Thacker faces one count each of robbery and theft of $1,000 to $20,000.

Both are Class 4 felonies. Thacker was arraigned Friday morning in Rio Blanco District Court, where a status conference was set for 10 a.m. May 11.

He has yet to enter a plea to the charges.

Michael Joos, Rio Blanco County Undersheriff, declined to comment on whether Thacker was still in the Rio Blanco County Jail, citing a gag order issued April 20 by Ninth Judicial District Judge Denise Lynch.

The order was imposed to “protect the defendant’s right to a fair trial” and restricts the release of information to the media by lawyers, court officials and other government employees in the Ninth Judicial District, according to court documents.

Public Defender Sara Steele is representing Thacker, and Eugene Tardy, Rio Blanco County chief deputy district attorney for the Ninth Judicial District, is prosecuting the case. Neither Steele nor Tardy could be reached for comment Friday.

Thacker allegedly entered Mountain Valley Bank, 400 Main St., on the morning of April 12 and handed a teller a note reading, “Don’t be crazy, take the money out of your register and place it on the counter and no one gets hurt,” according to court documents.

Kimberly Gould, a bank employee, described the suspect as a man about 20 to 25 years old wearing a straw cowboy hat, a Western-style shirt, jeans, cowboy boots and spurs, court documents state. An audit of the teller drawer after the robbery found $1,279 had been taken from the bank, according to court documents.

The Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office issued a reverse 911 page to put residents on alert.

Thomas George, a manager at Cole Field Services, later saw Thacker in his truck yard and made a report to authorities, court documents state.

Meeker Police Department officers apprehended Thacker in a cattle pasture south of the White River less than an hour after the robbery.

They found the bank money in his pockets during a routine search, according to court documents.

While conducting the search, Thacker reportedly told officers, “The money’s in my pants.”

When asked where the money was from, he reportedly replied, “The bank,” according to court documents.

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