Teen accused of robbing two banks

Published: Saturday, Feb. 25 2012 7:40 p.m. MST

OREM — It almost sounds too bizarre to be true, a Utah County teen is under arrest, accused of robbing two banks in less than an hour.

Authorities said a 16-year old boy allegedly took his mother's car without permission, drove to a nearby Central Bank branch and pulled into the drive up lane.

"He sent a note through the drive-thru canister telling the teller to send him money," said Orem Police Sgt. Craig Martinez. "He inferred on the note that he had a weapon."

After complying with the young man's demands, the tellers contacted police and were able to give a detailed description of the vehicle, including the license plate number. But before investigators were able to track the boy down, he allegedly used the same modus operandi at a Mountain America Credit Union branch just 20 minutes later.

Police eventually located the getaway car — a blue Toyota Corolla — not too far away in the neighborhood of 1600 South and 400 West. And walking nearby, police caught their man, make that — boy.

"He had just ditched the car in a residential neighborhood and was walking away from it when one of our officers found him," Martinez said. Officers also recovered an undisclosed amount of cash.

The child's mother was at work and was completely unaware what her son was allegedly up on this Saturday afternoon, Martinez said.

"(The mother) had no idea he was even contemplating this," he said. "She was definitely surprised."

The teen was taken to juvenile detention. He faces two counts of armed robbery — a second-degree felony. The county attorney will determine whether the teenager will be charged as adult.

Martinez said it was one of the strangest cases he has ever come across during his career.

"I've been a cop for 15 years, and I've never seen nor heard about a robbery at a drive up window — much less two in the same day," he said. "

E-mail: jlee@desnews.com

Twitter: JasenLee1

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