Bizarre Twist In Bank Robbery, County Vehicle Was Getaway Car

, Posted: Wed, June 19 2013 at 12:08 AM, Updated: Wed, June 19 2013 at 12:40 AM

A suspected bank robber is behind bars, and his unwitting accomplice left perplexed, after a robbery that police solved in record time.  That's thanks to a pretty big clue -- the getaway car was a registered Jackson County vehicle.  NBC5's Laura Cavanaugh explains.

Just after 1:15 p.m. Tuesday afternoon Medford Police were called out to the Chase Bank on Crater Lake Avenue and Stevens after a suspect reportedly robbed the  bank.  But there was one glaring detail that helped authorities crack the case in less than an hour.

Witnesses saw the suspect get into the passenger seat of the  getaway car --- one with a Jackson County emblem on the doors.

Police traced the license plate of the getaway car to this Jackson County Mental Health Services office and determined the county case worker was driving the vehicle.   The case worker explained to police that he was shuttling around one of his new clients, Nicholas York, helping him run errands, one of those errands was at the bank.  He thought he had business to conduct.  

But instead of legitimate business,  police say the 35 year-old suspect made a criminal withdrawal.   They say York demanded money from a frightened teller, who turned over the cash.  All the while, the county case worker patiently waiting outside, with no idea a robbery was in progress.

Once York exited the bank and got into the passenger seat of the county vehicle, the county case worker says he drove York to his home at the Cedar Lodge Motel.   That tip led police immediately to the motel on North Riverside Avenue just before 3 p.m.  Police swarmed the motel. York surrendered peacefully. A search warrant led officers to the stolen money. 

As for the punishment to the crime, the county case worker was  questioned, but not charged, because he had no knowledge or reckless intent.  Meanwhile Nicholas York iis in the Jackson County Jail charged with second degree robbery and an outstanding drug-related warrant from Clackamas County.

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