Suspect in custody in robbery at credit union

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By AJ Vicens

A suspect in the armed robbery at the Bellco Credit Union at South Kipling Street and West Belleview Avenue on Wednesday morning surrendered to authorities late in the afternoon.

The Jeffco Sheriff's Office received a call from inside the credit union about 9:30 a.m. July 23, according to spokesperson Jim Shires. Witnesses said a white male came inside and fired at least one shot from a handgun. It's unclear whether the shot was aimed at anyone, but Shires said there were no reported injuries.

The man stole an undetermined amount of money and a silver mini-van belonging to one of the employees. After fleeing, the suspect ditched the van in a neighborhood southwest of the credit union, near West Tulane Avenue and South Quail Street. Dogs were brought in to track the suspect from that location.

Early reports cited possible multiple suspects, but Shires said there was no confirmation that there was more than one.

About 10:30 a.m. the Jeffco Regional SWAT Team led people out of the credit union in handcuffs. Shires said that since officers did not know who the robber was, everyone was handcuffed and searched. The incident ended about 10:50 a.m. as the SWAT Team began packing up and clearing the scene.

Several dozen onlookers and various media crowded the grassy area at South Kipling Street and West Progress Avenue.

"It's pretty crazy," said A.J. Boogert, 19, who lives just south of the credit union. "My dad has a scanner on almost all the time, and we caught word and headed down here."

Boogert added that he's lived in the area most of his life and couldn't remember anything like this. "It's weird, especially with all these SWAT guys."

Richard Edmond, who lives north of West Belleview and South Kipling, was on his way to the 1st Bank and couldn't get in because of the police blockade.

"I saw the SWAT Team gathering in the parking lot, and then walking as a group toward the credit union," Edmond said.

Shires said that Lakewood police and the Colorado State Patrol helped with traffic control and witness interviews. The FBI is also involved in the case.

Contact AJ Vicens at aj@evergreenco.com.