Tip Helps Police Foil Bank Robbery

Police nab suspect after he eats the holdup note

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A Payson man facing legal troubles allegedly got so desperate for cash he plotted to rob a Prescott bank earlier this month.

But police foiled Clinton Carl Gimlen’s plan when someone let Gila County sheriff’s investigators in on his idea, giving Prescott police and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents time to alert area banks and ultimately arrest Gimlen on charges including attempted robbery. However, officers were not quick enough to stop Gimlen from reportedly eating the robbery note.

Gimlen, 39, now faces three more charges on his rap sheet.

According to online court records, a Gila County grand jury indicted Gimlen in January on charges of possession of dangerous drugs for sale, possession of drug paraphernalia and tampering with evidence.

Gimlen has previously been convicted on a number drug and traffic-related charges.

On May 31, Gila County Sheriff’s Office Det. George Ratliff said he got a tip from a citizen that Gimlen was plotting to rob the National Bank of Arizona in Prescott.

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Clinton Gimlen

Gimlen had allegedly made statements about robbing the bank because he needed money due to pending legal issues, according to a press release from the Prescott Police Department.

“His plan was to drive to Prescott, enter the bank and present a bank employee with a note demanding cash,” said Prescott Lt. Ken Morley. “It was not clear whether he planned to be armed or not.”

On June 2, Gimlen got a woman, who reportedly knew nothing of his robbery plans, to drive him to Prescott. Police and FBI agents tracked the pair from Payson to the congested downtown streets of Prescott.

After parking near the post office, Gimlen and the woman walked toward the bank. Gimlen stopped near the Courthouse Square to write a note.

“They continued to the bank but did not enter the bank because it was closed,” Morley said. “Shortly before Mr. Gimlen arrived in Prescott, investigators working the case called all the downtown area banks and had them lock down until he was taken into custody.”

Because of the crowds, officers waited for the pair to walk back to their truck.

During the arrest, Gimlen swallowed a piece of paper that detectives believe was a robbery note.

Officers collected a second note and other evidence connecting Gimlen with the attempted bank robbery.

Police arrested Gimlen on charges of conspiracy to commit robbery, attempted robbery and tampering with evidence. He was booked into the Yavapai County Jail in Camp Verde.

The woman has not been charged. At this point in the investigation, police have no evidence she had knowledge of the planned robbery, Morley said.

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