Police link pocket money to cash from bank robbery

Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A man charged with driving while intoxicated was linked to a bank robbery after authorities found $5,000 in his pockets.

Lee A. Brown, 40, was arraigned Friday on charges of first-degree robbery and second-degree theft, a day after he was arraigned on DWI and drugs counts.

He is charged with stealing about $7,000 from the First National Bank Alaska at gunpoint Tuesday afternoon.

According to police, a man entered the downtown bank at about 5:35 p.m. Tuesday, walked up to a teller and demanded cash. Police said the robber had a handgun but did not brandish it or point it at anyone.

The teller emptied her till and the man fled with the money.

At 2:16 a.m. Thursday, Brown was pulled over by a state trooper for an equipment violation.

According to the trooper complaint, Brown had bloodshot eyes, poor dexterity and thick speech, and the trooper could smell alcohol. He was charged with DWI and was taken to Fairbanks Correctional Center, where officers discovered a pipe in one of Brown's inner pockets that tested positive for cocaine.

Fairbanks police investigating the bank robbery were more interested in something else found in Brown's pockets: about $5,000 in cash.

Brown said he had won the money playing pool. Charging documents say several bills had serial numbers matching money taken in the robbery.

Brown was later picked out of a police lineup by the teller, the complaint states.

Detective Randy Coffey said police are investigating to determine if more than one person was involved in the robbery.

Brown is on custody in lieu of $50,000 bail from the trooper charges and $50,000 bail for the robbery charges.



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