Man Charged with Two Crimes in Commerce Bank Heist, Bomb Threat | New

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A man arrested in connection with a bank robbery and bomb threat at a West Broadway Hy-Vee bank on August 24 has been charged with two felonies: one count of theft and one count of terrorist threat.

Jeffrey Alan York, 59, admitted to Columbia Police that he wrote and delivered a note to a Commerce Bank teller demanding money, according to a probable cause statement. York claimed in the note he slipped to the cashier that he had explosives in the backpack he was carrying and that he had a gun. He asked for a specific amount of money, which the cashier provided him with.

York left the building after the cashier gave him the money and entered the passenger seat of a car in the Hy-Vee parking lot. Customers approached him and took a picture of him, according to the probable cause statement. He then left the car and drove away, leaving his backpack in the car.

He was found by police hiding about 200 yards from the Hy-Vee in which the Commerce Bank is located, according to the probable cause statement. He was found after running away with the money. Police found the money on him, the statement said.

Columbia police responded to a call about the bank robbery at 11:23 am Because they were unsure if the backpack contained real explosives, they evacuated more than 100 people from the Hy-Vee. The Columbia Police Bomb Squad brought in a high speed water cannon. Shortly after 2 p.m., they made the backpack safe with a controlled explosion and cleared the area so people could re-enter Hy-Vee.

Officers also interviewed a witness who drove York to the Hy-Vee. She identified York and told police she had no idea he was going to rob a bank, according to the probable cause statement.

The incident triggered a modified lockdown of Columbia public schools in the area, including West Middle School, Smithton Middle School and Paxton Keeley Elementary School.

York was being held in Boone County Jail without bond. He was scheduled to appear in court Monday afternoon for arraignment.


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