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Alleged bank robber charged with armed robbery
A felony complaint was filed Tuesday against the man who allegedly robbed a Yuma bank and then calmly walked to an adjacent pizza parlor and ordered a beer and a few slices before being arrested by police Saturday.
Henry Elmer, 56, formerly of Oklahoma, was charged with armed robbery during his arraignment in Yuma Justice Court Tuesday. He appeared before Justice of the Peace Greg Stewart, who increased Elmer's bond to $200,000.
Elmer, who appeared in court wearing shackles, spoke only a couple of times during his brief appearance. In answering a question from the judge, Elmer said he could not afford to hire an attorney to represent him because he receives Social Security and he could not receive his checks in custody.
In addition to appointing the Yuma County Defender's Office to represent Elmer, the judge scheduled his next court date, a preliminary hearing for 4 p.m. Oct. 19.
According to the Yuma Police Department, officers responded Saturday to a report of a robbery at the main branch of the Wells Fargo Bank, 1 E. 16th St. The bank is located just across the street from the Yuma Police Station.
A preliminary investigation indicated that Elmer went into the bank and was greeted at the door. He allegedly produced a box-cutter knife and proclaimed his intention to commit a robbery.
He proceeded to a teller window, received an undisclosed amount of cash and left the building, police said.
Elmer then calmly walked over to the Village Inn Pizza Parlor, 41 E. 16th St., which is adjacent to the bank, and ordered beer and a pizza, said police. Employees working at Village Inn didn't notice anything about Elmer when he walked in except that he looked “agitated.”
After ordering, Elmer took a seat in the dining room toward the back of the restaurant, which is separated by glass from the entry area, where there were two other families with children sitting nearby.
While he was sitting there, an officer came into the restaurant and asked employees how long he had been there, to which employees stated for about 10 minutes. Before he was served his pizza, Elmer was surrounded by officers and taken into custody.
Soon after, the employees found out Elmer had allegedly paid for his beer and pizza with stolen money and returned it to police.
After his arrest, Elmer was identified by bank employees and security video footage, police said.
With the exception of the beer he drank, all items of evidence were recovered in or around the immediate vicinity of the bank and restaurant. The bank was closed for several hours while the scene was processed.
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854.