CHEYENNE – A Utah man involved in several bank robberies including one in Rock Springs On Jan. 21 at the US Bank on Dewar Drive was sentenced on Sept. 30 in Federal District Court.
James Pearson Thain, 38, of Utah, was sentenced by Chief Federal District Court Judge Nancy Freudenthal on September 30, for bank robbery and aiding and abetting. He was arrested in Casper. He received 27 years of imprisonment to be followed by five years of supervised release Freudenthal also ordered Thain was ordered to pay a $1,400 special assessment and restitution in the amount of $51,073.66.
On January 21st, 2014 at approximately 2:14 p.m. Thain robbed the US Bank on Dewar Drive. Rock Springs Police Department reports said an adult male entered the Dewar Drive branch wearing faded denim jeans, a black long sleeved shirt and what appears to be a gray or tan hooded vest with a black zipper, and black zippered pockets. The suspect additionally was wearing an Atlanta Braves baseball cap with a red brim.
The suspect disguised their face by wearing a fake black mustache and goatee. The suspect also wore black plastic framed glasses that appeared to be fake.
The suspect handed the teller a note demanding money, stating they had a gun in their pocket. No weapon was displayed during the robbery. An undisclosed amount of cash was obtained and the suspect left the bank.
A witness stated they observed a male fitting the above description running from the area of the bank and getting into a white sedan with Utah license plates in the Plaza Mall parking lot. The driver of the vehicle was said to be a heavy set, middle aged woman.
Investigators tentatively linked the robbery of the Rock Springs US Bank to approximately twelve bank robberies and attempted robberies in the Salt Lake City area occurring between early December of 2013 and now.
On Jan. 27 at about noon, a similar robbery took place in Laramie, at a US Bank branch at which time the suspects were tentatively linked to the Rock Springs robbery.
On Jan. 29 at about 11:30 a.m. a robbery occurred at Bank of the West on S.E. WYO Blvd in Casper. An observant citizen saw the suspect leave the bank and watched the suspect vehicle until Casper Police arrived. The suspects attempted to flee from police and there was a brief pursuit. The suspect vehicle crashed near 12th and McKinley and two suspects (one male and one female) were taken into custody.
After being notified of the Casper Robbery, Detectives from the Laramie Police Department and the lead detective from the Rock Springs US Bank robbery case responded to Casper to assist in the investigation.
The suspects were identified as Mindy Nichole Lawrence (AKA Brafford), 34 and James Pearson Thain, 38. Lawrence has not been sentenced at this time.