Repeat bank robber arrested in Brookings

John Hall Cleaves

Brookings, Ore. – Police have arrested a man accused of robbing the Rogue Credit Union in Brookings Wednesday.

At approximately 1:30 p.m. on September 20, a man walked into the bank and presented a note demanding cash from a teller’s drawer and stating, “This is a robbery,” according to the Brookings Police Department.

He then left the credit union on foot with less than $2000 in cash.

Police quickly distributed an image of the suspect to the media.

During the investigation, officers were told a Fred Meyer store employee spotted suspicious clothing found in the men’s restroom.

Officers determined the clothing was left behind by suspect, who was now wearing new clothes from the store.

The Brookings Police Department said officers visited local businesses and motels showing photos of the alleged robber.

Around 6:00 p.m., a motel clerk said the man pictured just recently checked in, paying cash.

Officers made contact with the suspect, identified as 44-year-old John Hall Cleaves, 15 minutes later.

He was arrested and booked into the Curry County Jail on charges of first degree theft and second degree robbery.

Police said Cleaves is originally from Portland, but was most recently residing in Eureka, California.

This isn’t Cleaves’ first run-in with the law.

A Federal Bureau of Investigation report states Cleaves was sentenced in October, 2011 to 89 months in prison for a robbing an Umpqua Bank in Eugene in June, 2010.

During that robbery, he was already on supervised release for a 2003 bank robbery in California.

The San Francisco Gate reports at one point, Cleaves was accused of orchestrating a string of holdups in five states from California to Arkansas.

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