Kansas van driver investigated, released
Boise City News
A routine traffic stop east of Keyes Monday night brought a Kansas driver in for questioning about last month’s bank robbery in Boise City.
The driver, as for now released and unnamed, was driving a one-ton 15-passenger van and pulling a white mini-van when stopped by OHP Trooper Duane Johnson Monday night. Johnson stopped the vehicles for a defective tail light on the pulled van.
“He had some of those magnetic towing lights, and was blinking on and off,” Johnson explained.
When the trooper approached the vehicles he noticed the smaller van was similar in size and color of the reported robbery van and that the driver’s profile bore a resemblance to pictures captured by surveillance cameras at The First State Bank of Boise City.
The vehicles, registered in Kansas, (the mini-van had no tags), were westbound when stopped.
The driver, with an address in Overland Park, Kansas, (a Kansas City suburb), told Johnson that he was pulling the mini-van to Boise City to leave at his uncle’s body shop.
“I was impressed that he pronounced Boise City correctly,” Johnson said. “So I asked for his uncle’s name.”
The driver gave the name of a Spanish male.
“Well I knew we had no one by that name with a body shop in Boise City,” Johnson said.
Johnson then asked more questions. He learned that the man was supposed to work the medical field in a hospital in Overland Park.
Then he changed the story on what his job description was.
“He told me several different things…lies. I asked him why, he said he got scared,” Johnson shrugged.
By this time, outside investigators had arrived in Boise City, as well as K-9 Deputy Nathan Cobb. Cobb took his partner to a local location and had the dog check for any indication of drugs. It made no hit for drugs, so there was no probable cause to open the van.
Meanwhile, an investigator for a federal agency asked for and was denied permission to search the interior of the vehicles.
A picture of the driver was shown to the Boise City bank teller, but she couldn’t make a positive I.D.
The suspect told the investigators that he had been at work at the hospital on Friday, the 26th, and gave permission for his pay records at the hospital to be examined. The hospital refused and proceedings for a subpoena were begun.
With the investigation stymied, the driver and his vehicles were released. By this time, Johnson had learned the mini-van would be eventually towed into Chihuahua, Mexico.
“His uncle is supposed to pick it up in Clayton, N.M.,” Johnson said.