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Two robberies: Carrington, Medina banks robbed in 24 hours

This image from the Northland Financial Bank in Medina, N.D., shows a masked suspect speaking to a bank employee Friday. (Photo courtesy / FBI)1 / 2
This image from the Northland Financial Bank in Medina, N.D., shows a masked suspect speaking to a bank employee Friday. (Photo courtesy / FBI)2 / 2
News Jamestown,North Dakota 58401 http://www.jamestownsun.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/field/image/A1robberyCOLOR.jpg?itok=Nzs2_xuX
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Two robberies: Carrington, Medina banks robbed in 24 hours
Jamestown North Dakota 121 3rd St NW 58401

In less than 24 hours banks in Carrington and Medina were robbed in broad daylight, although authorities don’t believe the two incidents are connected at this time. Greg Boosalis, division counsel for the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Minneapolis, Minn., field office, said as of Friday evening there was no known link between the two robberies. How much money was taken in each robbery remains unknown.

Having one bank robbery in a small town in North Dakota is uncommon, Boosalis said.

“Having two happen within 24 hours of each other, that is very rare,” he said.

Northland Financial Bank in Medina

Suspects in the robbery of the Northland Financial Bank in Medina were still being sought as of Friday evening, Boosalis said.

Around 10:30 a.m. Friday at the bank, located at 101 2nd Ave. SW, Medina, two males approached the bank counter and demanded money, according to Boosalis.

One of the robbers brandished a handgun and both suspects wore dark, bulky clothing and colored masks. The suspects left the bank and were believed to have fled in a blue Chevy Trailblazer, which was found abandoned south of Medina on N.D. Highway 30.

Stutsman County Sheriff Chad Kaiser said it is believed the suspects may have gotten into another vehicle, a light-colored Lincoln SUV that a witness saw parked along N.D. 30 in that same area as he went into Medina Friday morning.

“When he (the witness) came back, he saw the Chevy Trailblazer sitting in about the same spot on the side of the road,” Kaiser said.

The suspects are described as two males in their late teens or early 20s, approximately 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall. One suspect is thought to be of African-American descent.

Paul Bakkum, president and CEO of Northland Financial Bank, said Friday that he thought the staff at the Medina branch did exactly what they were supposed do in a robbery.

“Our staff did a fantastic job following protocol, and they were able to provide a great amount of information to the law enforcement officers investigating the incident,” he said.

The Stutsman County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the robbery, with assistance from the Jamestown Police Department, the FBI and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Gate City Bank in Carrington

The first robbery happened at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at Gate City Bank in Carrington, and a suspect is in custody for that robbery, Boosalis said.

A vehicle fitting the description of a white Ford Crown Victoria that was seen leaving Carrington at a high rate of speed on U.S. Highway 52 shortly after the robbery Thursday was pulled over by state and local law enforcement southeast of Martin, N.D., early that evening. The driver of the car fit the description of the suspect leaving the bank, Boosalis said. The suspect was wanted on an outstanding state warrant and was arrested.

Boosalis said the man arrested is the lead suspect for the Carrington robbery. He did not identify the suspect.

According to the FBI, the robber approached the bank counter and provided a bank teller with a note demanding money. After obtaining an unspecified amount of money, the robber fled. The suspect was described as an African-American male, approximately 20 to 30 years old, about 6 feet 2 inches tall and having a muscular build.

Scott Hare, manager of the Carrington and Jamestown Gate City Bank branches, referred any questions about the robbery to law enforcement officials.

The Carrington Police Department, along with the FBI, the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the North Dakota Highway Patrol and McHenry Sheriff’s Office continue to investigate the case.

Investigations continue

The Medina robbery came 22 hours after the Gate City Bank in Carrington was robbed at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday.

Boosalis said both investigations are continuing and anyone with information on either bank robbery should contact the FBI Fargo Resident Agency at 701-232-7241. Anyone with information on the Medina robbery is asked to call the Stutsman County Sheriff’s Office at 701-252-9000.

Sun reporter Chris Olson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at colson@jamestownsun.com

Chris Olson

Hometown: Traverse City, MI College: Northwestern Michigan College and Michigan State University

(701) 952-8454
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