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Chino Valley Review | Chino Valley, Arizona

home : latest news : local November 25, 2015

2/26/2014 9:38:00 AM
Real lifem not Hollywood
Bank robbery suspect caught in Cordes
Bank surveillance photo/Courtesy photoThis bank surveillance photo shows alleged bank robber, Kevin Lee Campbell, 53, a Yavapai County resident, Friday at 5:50 p.m., at the National Bank of Arizona in the 400 block of south Highway 89 in Chino Valley.
Bank surveillance photo/Courtesy photo

This bank surveillance photo shows alleged bank robber, Kevin Lee Campbell, 53, a Yavapai County resident, Friday at 5:50 p.m., at the National Bank of Arizona in the 400 block of south Highway 89 in Chino Valley.

Salina Sialega
Chino Valley Review

The action in Friday's bank robbery shows like a Tinseltown film, from a suspect who didn't bother to disguise himself, to a high-speed car chase to a sunrise foot pursuit over fences the next day. But in reality, observant witnesses and detailed police work led to the capture of the Cordes Lakes suspect, Kevin Lee Campbell, 53, who faces charges of robbery, unlawful flight and endangerment.

Within minutes of sending out a description, police spotted the getaway vehicle and driver who allegedly robbed the National Bank of Arizona in Chino Valley this past Friday at 5:50 p.m.

Police would not give an exact amount of money Campbell allegedly took, except to say it was less than $10,000. No one was hurt in the robbery.

None of the bank tellers reported seeing weapons, Chino Valley Police Lt. Vincent Schaan said. However, the tellers felt threatened.

According to Schaan, bank staff members described Campbell and his vehicle, a 2002 Chevy Trailblazer, tan or gold in color. CVPD sent this information to all local law enforcement agencies, and minutes later a Department of Public Safety officer saw and began to follow the SUV traveling south on Highway 89 between Chino Valley and Prescott.

Schaan reports that Campbell didn't stop when the patrol officer tried to pull him over, and a high-speed pursuit began. Campbell's driving was erratic and his speeds were more than 75 mph as he entered a heavily populated area, when the officer ended the pursuit for public safety reasons, Schaan stated. The patrol officer, who was able to get the SUV's license plate number, last saw the Trailblazer traveling southbound on Willow Creek Road and Willow Lake Road in Prescott.

With the license plate number, Kingman police contacted the SUV's other registered owner, Campbell's former girlfriend in Kingman. She reported that Campbell possessed the SUV since their relationship ended in October of 2013. Also she identified Campbell from the bank surveillance video.

At 4 a.m. Saturday, Yavapai County Sheriff Office deputies found Campbell's SUV parked and empty in Mayer, but believed they saw him fleeing on foot, jumping several fences.

The deputies began a search of the area, and at about 8 a.m., they found Campbell and arrested him in a Cordes Lakes residence, which was not his residence.

"The sheriff's office was canvassing the area, and his car was found by the bus barn in Mayer (at about 4 a.m. Saturday)," Schaan said.

As the search continued, Schaan said officers found Campbell in an unused travel trailer.

"He was found in Cordes Lakes on somebody else's property," Schaan said, noting that the property owners were unaware that Campbell was hiding in the trailer.

In the search for Campbell, officers acquired three search warrants - one for the property on which Campbell was found, another on the property he had entered, and Campbell's home.

According to police, Campbell has served a multiple-year sentence in Arizona on various charges, including robbery of a bank in Kingman.

In addition, Schaan reports that law enforcement agencies are continuing to investigate possible ties to Campbell involving two recent bank robberies in the Verde Valley area - at the Chase Bank in Camp Verde on Feb. 4, Bank of America in Cottonwood on Feb. 11 - and a robbery in Golden Valley in late January. CVPD is working with the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Camp Verde Marshall's Office, Cottonwood Police Department and Kingman Police on these cases.

"In the Golden Valley area, we think he was involved in another robbery," Schaan said. "His methods are pretty consistent."

During officers' investigation into the Chino Valley robbery, Schaan said they saw an account of the Golden Valley incident on the Kingman Daily Miner newspaper's website. The Jan. 28 article states that a man entered the bank at about 5:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, when just two employees were present. Although he did not show a weapon, the man was wearing a black ski mask, and left with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Prescott Valley Police Department also helped in the manhunt. CVPD thanks all the agencies involved.

"Yavapai County law enforcement agencies are working, have been working and will continue to work with each other to further our goal of protecting the communities of Yavapai County," Schaan stated. "This incident shows that we have a united front against criminals that are impacting our local residents, visitors to our communities and endangering the public. We will continue this cooperative approach to law enforcement as it has shown to be successful and in the best interest of the community as a whole."

Daily Courier reporters Joanna Dodder Nellans, Scott Orr and Cindy Barks contributed to this article.

Related Stories:
• Chino Valley bank robbery suspect now eyed in January Golden Valley heist
• Bank robbery suspect captured

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