By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – The 54-year-old Kelso husband who until recently was employed was driving a gold Chrysler PT Cruiser like the one which pulled out of the front parking lot at Chase Bank in Chehalis after it was robbed.
When law enforcement officers stopped Jerrell S. Redmill’s car on Interstate 5 near Kelso about 30 minutes later, and patted him down, money was falling out of his shorts pockets, dropping onto the ground.
“He didn’t run or fight,” Chehalis Police Department detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said.
He asked to speak with an attorney.
Redmill was in Lewis County Superior Court today, charged with first-degree robbery for yesterday afternoon’s events at the bank on South Market Boulevard.
He doesn’t have any criminal history, Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead told the judge.
In the benches behind him were his wife, grown daughter and another family member. The longtime Cowlitz County resident owns a home worth about $100,000, defense attorney Bob Schroeter said. He collects about $1,000 a month from unemployment, according to Schroeter.
Lewis County Superior Court Judge Richard Brosey set his bail at $100,000.
It was a casual and quiet holdup, according to Wilson.
Court documents say the teller told police she watched an older man enter the bank, pace back and forth for a short period of time in the lobby, and then approach her counter and hand her a note.
He was wearing a baseball cap and dark glasses.
She handed over about $1,000 in $20s, $10s and $1 bills, according to charging documents. He took the cash and the note then walked out.
Wilson said it was a good description given by employees and the manager running over to look out the window to see the car, along with a sheriff’s detective being in the right place at the right time that brought it all together so quickly.
“We relayed that (information) to all the officers in the area,” Wilson said.
Wilson said the PT Cruiser was first spotted by the sheriff’s detective who was driving an unmarked car near milepost 68, the U.S. Highway 12 interchange. But it took time for enough officers to catch up to make a safe traffic stop, he said.
Redmill was pulled over and arrested near milepost 42.
According to charging documents, the cash that fell onto the ground totaled $775. When the car was searched, $270 was found on the driver’s side floor.
In the driver’s pocket door was a note which read, “Give me all your money now!” according to the documents.
Police also collected a baseball cap from the car – blue with a white logo – that appeared to match what the robber was wearing in bank photos.
Charging documents state Redmill has charges from 1982 of criminal mischief and disorderliness.
He will return to court on another day to make his plea.
The same Chase Bank branch was robbed a little more than a year ago by two men who were captured less than 30 minutes later after a brief pursuit by a Centralia police officer and his police dog.