Salt Lake police arrested a man checking out of a downtown hotel shortly after two banks were robbed Monday morning.
The man, age and identity unknown, was "strolling out of the hotel carrying a suitcase, and we told him to drop the suitcase and that he was under arrest," said Lt. Larry Stott. The man was leaving the a hotel at 75 W. South Temple.The arrest came about a half-hour after a 10:36 a.m. robbery at Citibank, 2 S. Main. Witnesses saw a man, dressed in a gray suit, walk west on South Temple and into the hotel.
About three minutes before that, a man with a briefcase robbed Zions First National Bank, 102 S. Main. The robber told the tellers that he had a bomb in his briefcase.
Witnesses saw the bandit drop the briefcase after the first robbery when a red dye pack placed with the money apparently exploded. A briefcase containing money and a device resembling a bomb was recovered by police.
The suitcase the arrested man dropped was X-rayed and some batteries were detected, so the bomb squad cut the suitcase open, said detective Ray Dalling.
Hotel employees told police they observed a man remove his coat as he entered the hotel. He went to his fourth-floor room and later checked out of the hotel.