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Chinle bank robber in custody

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CHINLE, Ariz.– The suspect who robbed the Chinle Wells Fargo yesterday morning was taken into Federal custody at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 26. Police also recovered the vehicle that was used in the robbery.

On Oct. 26 at approximately 10:51 am, Chinle Police Department (PD) received a call from a Wells Fargo employee stating that the bank had just been robbed. Chinle PD responded. Officer Carlton Jim and Lt. Dempsey Harvey were first on the scene.

Information from the crime scene indicated that a bank robber had gotten away with over $1,800 dollars. A description of the vehicle involved was given as a red Ford Explorer with New Mexico state license plates. The vehicle fled southbound on Route 191.

Chinle PD alerted both Window Rock PD and Dilkon PD.

At 2:08 pm, Chinle PD received a call that identified the vehicle at a residence quarter mile southeast of Chinle Holiday Inn. Police responded along with Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Chinle PD checked the vehicle tags and found the vehicle was identified as being stolen from Albuquerque. Police then cleared the residence and did not find the suspect. Chinle PD called for Strategic Reaction Team and K-9 assistance from Window Rock PD.

Police tracked shoe prints east toward the Chinle wash. The suspect was tracked to another residence near the Presbyterian Church. There, contact was made with an individual who said he gave the suspect a ride to Chevron.

The individual said the suspect told him he was trying to get to Window Rock or Gallup and that he would pay for gas to get there. The individual dropped him off at Chevron.

Police dispersed to Chevron to view the security camera footage and were able to ascertain that the suspect had changed his clothes there.

At approximately 6:07 pm, Officer Carlton Jim said he had detained an individual at Chevron. This individual said he had picked up the suspect and dropped him off at a residence six miles north of Chinle.

Police responded to the residence where they were told the suspect had fled on foot a half-hour earlier. Police units patrolled the area near the residence.

At 7:04 pm, Lt. Harvey called for units to meet him at the residence six miles north of Chinle. It was there they apprehended the suspect and took him into custody.

The suspect is currently being detained at the Chinle Detention Center and will be transported to Flagstaff by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

“I commend our Navajo Nation Police Department for their professional response to the robbery,” said President Russell Begaye. “ I’d also like to thank the Navajo public for assisting our police force in apprehending the criminal.”