After Jared Layne Gray, a Wells Fargo driver charged with stealing $2.5 million from an armored car, was released to a halfway house Friday, an employer described Gray as a "perfect" employee and offered him his job back.
That former employer, however, was not Wells Fargo.Saying that Gray, 26, has no prior criminal record and has an "unblemished work record," U.S. Magistrate Ronald Boyce ordered Gray released to a federal halfway house on a $10,000 signature bond. While Gray resides at the security facility, he may be released to work to help his mother who lives in Murray and depends on him for financial support, the judge said.
Gray's attorney, Ronald E. Kunz, told Boyce that he is talking with federal prosecutors to resolve the case before trial.
At the time of the May 5 armored car heist, Gray was working two jobs - as a Wells Fargo driver and as a cashier for a real estate broker, Jack Jeppesen.
Following the Friday hearing, Jeppesen told reporters, "Jared's handled in excess of $10,000 a night for me and has never been a nickel short.
"I don't know what this thing was with Wells Fargo. I believe it was just a fluke. Jared's not a materialistic person. But he was financially supporting his mother."
Gary is charged with stealing more than $2.5 million from an armored car he was driving from Idaho banks to deposit in the Federal Reserve Bank branch in Salt Lake.
A complaint filed in federal court says Gray pulled the armored car off I-15 near Brigham City and fled with the cash while two other guards, Scott Redford and Dale Neilsen, were sleeping in the car's bunk.
The guards awoke to find the doors to the truck jammed shut from the outside, the complaint says.
Gray's pickup truck was later found abandoned in Brigham City, about 45 miles north of Salt Lake City.
During the detention hearing Friday, Richard Lambert, assistant U.S. attorney for Utah, commended Gray for voluntarily surrendering and noted that most of the missing money has been recovered by Wells Fargo or is in the hands of federal authorities.
A car that Gray purchased during the 25 days he was missing has been returned, said Lambert.
"There is no money stashed away and we believe there is not a risk that Gray would flee," said Lambert.
The money was found in two Las Vegas locations - an apartment and a storage shelter.
FBI Agent Robert Lund said Gray apparently lived in Las Vagas under an alias, shaved his moustache, bought a VCR and spent a lot of time watching movies on it.
Many of Gray's family attended the Friday hearing.
One of his three brothers, Lonnie, 31, teased him, saying, "I've heard there's an opening at Wells Fargo. I think I'll apply - under an alias."
Gray declined to talk to reporters, so his family rallied in his support. Lonnie Gray said the family "is totally baffled by Jared's behavior."
"As soon as we heard he was a suspect, we encouraged him to surrender. We were shocked. We didn't believe it until we saw him on television. Even now, it's hard to believe."