By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
Quick thinking by employees and a customer at Farmers State Bank in Wallace Monday led to the capture of the alleged robbers with no injuries involved.
The two males were apprehended less than a mile north of Imperial on Highway 61 just after 12:30 p.m. MT. The Chase County Sheriff’s Department made initial contact, with the Nebraska State Patrol and Imperial Police Department assisting.
According to Bob Mayber, president of Farmers State Bank in Wallace, a lone male entered the bank through the front door about 12:47 p.m. CT.
Showing a gun, he demanded money. When a teller and Executive Vice President Jim Artz told him the money was “all locked up he turned around and left,” Mayber said.
In the meantime, the lone customer in the bank had noticed something was wrong, left the bank and called 911.
Witnesses saw the man enter a grey Ford F250 pickup containing another male. The pickup turned south.
When the description of the vehicle, which was minus a license plate, was circulated, Imperial Police Sergeant Ryan Wisnieski spotted it near Imperial.
He contacted Sheriff Kevin Mueller, who made the felony stop with Wisnieski. The two males in the vehicle, allegedly from Wyoming, were taken into custody without incident.
Mueller said that when they stopped the men at gunpoint and ordered them out of the pickup, the suspects didn’t ask why, so Mueller said he had an idea he had the correct suspects.
A gun was found in the vehicle.
Arrested were 20-year-old Drew Steier of the Wyoming area and 52-year-old Tracy Black of Evanston, Wyo., Mueller said.
The two were held in Imperial until the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department arrived about 3 p.m. with warrants for armed robbery.
Mueller said an agent with the FBI had visited the bank, which bank personnel verified.
“It’s such a great day, that nobody was hurt,” Mayber said. “Our prime concern is that no one is injured” in a holdup. “We are extremely grateful.”