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Public involvement led to robbery suspects’ arrests: Working together, we protect ourselves

After our recent bank robbery, I felt it important to recognize the efforts of many people, businesses, and agencies that worked together to put a quick end to what could have been a long crime spree.

When the initial call went out, Cottonwood Police, Grangeville Police and Idaho County Sheriff deputies from across the county responded to Cottonwood to assist in searching for the suspect, processing the crime scene, and ensuring the safety of our community. An FBI agent drove up from Lewiston to assist with the crime scene and Idaho Fish and Game was also on scene for a bit, and assisted with checking the campground and Pine Bar areas. I can tell you the Idaho County Sheriff Dispatch crew was working like crazy to keep everything flowing smoothly, and put together press release information to get the word out to the public, answering phones and keeping things flowing. Thanks, Sarah, Nichole and Melissa. US Bank Security quickly provided photographs of the subject for us as well.

Bud’s Power Sports has external video cameras that were used to identify the vehicle the robbers departed the area in. Their office staff put everything on hold and was able to download and save the video quickly for law enforcement, and in an event such as this, time is of the essence.

Pat Long with Long’s Auto Sales responded to my request for assistance in identifying the suspect vehicle, and was spot on with his first guess.

Prairie High School and their digital media equipment operated by Drew Cochran were used to get a ‘screen shot’ picture of the suspect vehicle as it left the area. I found that you cannot simply stop a video and print a picture; you need the specific programs to do that. Without getting that picture of the car out, it would have been more difficult to catch the suspects.

Malheur County Sheriff worked with Cottonwood Police in sharing pictures, as well as information, back and forth in identifying the subjects, and additional info regarding each case.

Lewiston Police and Nez Perce County Sheriff deputies not only captured the suspects, but followed up on additional information in the valley area.

And finally, Idaho County Free Press and Big Country News as well as printed media and social media outlets were most valuable in getting the word out to you, the public, asking for your assistance in helping us stop these guys.

So, as you can see, there were a lot of people working together to get this incident to a conclusion. Many hours were put in by many agencies, and everyone was focused on the safety of the public. One final thank you goes to you. Without the involvement of concerned citizens, tips wouldn’t have come in. The extra eyes of everyone out searching for these folks proved beneficial. You need to be involved in your communities and what’s going on. If you see something, be involved, call, and help out. Without everyone’s work, nothing can get better.

Thank you to all the agencies, the businesses, the press and the public; working together we are able to protect ourselves.


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