Police continue to investigate bank robberies in Salt Lake Valley

Posted at 9:32 PM, Feb 25, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-26 07:25:47-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Salt Lake City Police are one step closer to solving a string of bank robberies.

Kevin Richard Minix, 37, is believed to be responsible for three recent holdups. Cops say Minix became more aggressive in each bank robbery. He's now behind bars at the Salt Lake County jail.

Police say Minix held up a U.S. Bank on Feb. 7, then a Key Bank on Feb. 13 and a different Key Bank on Feb. 20.

His suspected crime spree came to an end in a convenience store parking lot at 1700 South and 300 West Tuesday afternoon when someone called police about a man passed out in a car.

"They said that he was acting strangely, officers responded and he was in a Subaru and actually matched the description of one of the earlier bank robberies at the Key Bank," said Sgt. Robin Heiden with the Salt Lake City Police Department.

The arrest came on the same day as the Bank Safety Summit where the FBI and local law enforcement discussed the dramatic rise in robberies in Utah.

Salt Lake County has had 22 robberies this year -- 11 of them were banks.

In 2012 there were 26 total. That number more than doubled in 2013 at 70.

"We need to get the message out to those thinking about committing bank robberies that your chances of getting away with it are slim to none," said Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank.

"We arrested another male this last Saturday for two other bank robberies that happened here," Heiden said.

Salt Lake City PD and Unified Police believe David Traversa, suspected of at least one bank robbery, was arrested in Midvale Saturday.

James Pearson Thain was busted in late January in Wyoming. Federal investigators are now tying him to 11 bank and credit union robberies in Utah from December through January.

While police are making progress, they still have six cases to solve. At least three suspects are still on the run and with each passing day, the concern is they could get more brazen like Minix allegedly did.

"He escalated in his behavior in each robbery. The first one said he had a weapon, the second one he displayed, the third one he actually pointed it," Heiden said.