Cops tell heist history
By Emma Breysse, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Date: January 24, 2013
Police told the story Wednesday of how they busted the prime suspect in a New Year’s Eve bank robbery in Jackson.
Corey Alan Donaldson, 39, an Australian living in Sandy, Utah, was arrested Tuesday night after Jackson police spent almost a month identifying and locating him. After Donaldson’s initial court hearing Wednesday in a Utah federal courthouse, Jackson police released previously withheld information.
Detective Sgt. Andy Pearson confirmed for the first time that Donaldson got away with more than $140,000 from U.S. Bank on Powderhorn Lane. Utah law enforcement seized $16,000 of that money from Donaldson when they arrested him, Pearson said.
Pearson said investigators here worked with federal authorities and officers in Utah, Colorado, Maine and elsewhere in Wyoming.
“A lot of people did a lot of really great work,” he said. “I’ve never seen so many jurisdictions work together so seamlessly.”
Pearson released the details in a phone interview Wednesday.
A tip from a person in Utah led the Clinton Police Department to Donaldson just after 7 p.m. Tuesday, Pearson said. The tip came five days after law officers identified Donaldson as the man pictured in U.S. Bank surveillance cameras.
Bank security footage from the day of the robbery showed the man now identified as Donaldson making a phone call before the robbery, Pearson said. Police traced the call to a pay phone at the Maverik gas station in Jackson. Gas station security cameras showed Donaldson and his vehicle, a gray Toyota Tundra pickup.
A Teton County Sheriff’s Office investigator looked through several hours of footage and discovered Donaldson used the same pay phone several days earlier, Pearson said. From that footage, police were able to get a clearer shot of the truck’s license plate, a good enough look to reveal the state and number.
Federal authorities found records of several people driving the truck across the Canadian border in recent years. One matched Donaldson’s description.
“He was our primary suspect at that point, but we had a lot of other leads to look into, including the owners of the car,” Pearson said. “One thing we weren’t running out of is suspects.”
When a witness here positively identified Donaldson as the man in the bank’s security video, officers started searching for him.
Donaldson was held in Utah on Tuesday night, but was released to federal custody Wednesday. It’s likely the case will be prosecuted by federal authorities in Cheyenne, Pearson said.