Missing suspect located in 2011 Felton bank robbery

 

DOVER — An accused bank robber who failed to appear for his scheduled trial last month was apprehended in Wilmington on Wednesday, authorities said.

Russell M. Grimes, of the 500 block of Turnberry Court in Bear, was deemed a fugitive after he removed a GPS monitoring device and disappeared after contacting his probation officer following a traffic citation on April 4, according to authorities.

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Russell M. Grimes

Mr. Grimes was charged in connection with an armed robbery of the First National Bank of Wyoming in Felton in August 2011. An initial conviction was overturned by the Delaware Supreme Court and a re-trial was set for April 11.

According to an arrest affidavit, a surveillance operation in Wilmington at approximately noon Wednesday led to Mr. Grimes’ capture.

Police reported that Mr. Grimes was seen exiting a building at 612 West 6th Street, and he then entered a red Honda CRV as a front seat passenger. After leaving the area, police said in an affidavit, the vehicle appeared to be trying to elude unmarked law enforcement vehicles that were following.

After the CRV ran a red traffic light, according to police, “it stopped in the middle of the block and began to reverse up the street, going the wrong way on a one-way. …”

The chase ended when the CRV crashed into the front of an unmarked police car equipped with lights and sirens, according to the affidavit.

As Mr. Grimes exited the front passenger’s side of the CRV, police said he was taken into custody.

Police locate drugs

According to authorities in court documents, a “green plastic jar containing a green in color plant like substance which field tested positive marijuana” was found in Mr. Grimes’ front left pocket. The substance weighed approximately two grams, police said.

Authorities said Mr. Grimes said $500 in currency was found concealed in Mr. Grimes’ right shoe under the sneaker insole.

The CRV’s driver — identified by police as 35-year-old Victor Shipley — was taken into custody and allegedly “made a spontaneous statement saying ‘whatever is in those jeans on floor over there I ain’t got nothing to do with it.’ “

The CRV was then towed to the Wilmington Police Department station pending approval of a search warrant, according to documents.

Police claimed that the money located on Mr. Grimes “revealed a positive indication for dangerous controlled substances” during a canine sniff.

Searches made

A police officer obtained a search warrant from Justice of the Peace Court 20 for the location at 612 West 6th Street and the CRV, according to court papers.

During a CRV search, police wrote in the affidavit, an officer found “232 blue wax bags stamped in red ink with a ‘Check Mark’ which contained an off white in color substance which field tested positive for heroin with an approximate weight of 3.48 grams.”

According to police, Mr. Grimes declined comment to an officer.

Mr. Shipley reportedly agreed to talk with law enforcement and a taped statement was made with the Criminal Investigative Division regarding the alleged incident.

Mr. Grimes was arrested and booked on charges, police said. An officer noted that no paraphernalia for ingesting heroin was located on Mr. Grimes.

All evidence was tagged and placed in a Wilmington Police Department evidence locker, authorities said.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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