Accused bank robber Grimes remains at large

DOVER — An accused bank robber remained at large Monday as he failed to appear for his scheduled trial in Kent County Superior Court.

Russell M. Grimes, 45, of the 500 block of Turnberry Court in Bear, went missing last week after authorities said he removed a GPS monitoring device after contacting his probation officer regarding a traffic stop.

Mr. Grimes was scheduled to defend himself on April 4 regarding charges involving the August 2011 armed robbery of the First National Bank of Wyoming in Felton, but requested counsel instead. The trial was continued a week as defense attorneys were not immediately available.

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Russell M. Grimes

Mr. Grimes drove from the Kent County Courthouse in a 2007 Pontiac Torrent owned by an Elsmere resident, according to court documents, but was stopped on Del. 1 near Fast Landing Road in Cheswold on alleged traffic violations at 11:43 a.m. A traffic complaint and summons did not list the reason for the initial stop and attempts requesting more information from the Delaware State Police were unsuccessful.

Mr. Grimes was charged with misdemeanor driving without a valid license and failure to have insurance identification in possession, court papers indicated.

A mandatory appearance on the alleged traffic infractions was set for May 18 at Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover.

After the police contact on the alleged traffic violations, authorities said Mr. Grimes was wanted on two capiases — New Castle County Superior Court for violation of probation (traffic violation) and Kent County Superior Court for breach of release.

Authorities said Mr. Grimes contacted his probation officer on the phone Monday after the stop, and was instructed to report in person to the office on the following day. He did not appear the next day, and authorities said the monitor tracking his whereabouts was removed.

If spotted, the “public should use caution and call 911 and report him,” Delaware State Police spokesman Sgt. Richard Bratz said.

Mr. Grimes was sentenced to 62 years in prison as a habitual offender by Judge Robert B. Young on July 25, 2013, after a conviction in the robbery case; the verdict was later overturned in the Delaware Supreme Court and a new trial ordered. He was later released from custody on bail pending his upcoming trial.

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