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Arrest made for Oxford bank heist

By NICK NARIGON

bowers
Jason Lee Bowers

A Des Moines man suspected of robbing the First Trust and Savings Bank, Oxford, was arrested Friday, Oct. 23.

Jason Lee Bowers, 33, was arrested without incident in Des Moines by FBI SWAT and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations.

Bowers made an initial appearance before a United States Magistrate Judge in Des Moines Monday, Oct. 26, said Sandy Breault, media and public affairs coordinator of the Omaha Division of the FBI.

He remains in custody pending further proceedings.

According to Mike Bladel, U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District, Bowers recently lived in South Amana.

Bowers faces four federal charges of bank robbery in a string of holdups in Greene, Johnson, Madison and Story counties.

Bowers’ latest alleged heist was Wednesday, Oct. 21, at the First Trust and Savings Bank, Oxford.

Authorities believe Bowers also robbed Story Bank and Trust in Slater Oct. 9, Farmers and Merchants State Bank in St. Charles Oct. 16, and People’s Trust and Savings Bank in Rippey Oct. 17.

In each of the robberies, Bowers is thought to have stolen the keys to a bank employee’s vehicle, fled to another location and switched vehicles to make his getaway.

The First Trust and Savings Bank, Oxford, was allegedly robbed by Bowers at 11:11 a.m. Oct. 21.

He was described as a white male, 6 foot 2, with a thin build and dark hair. Bowers was allegedly wearing a handkerchief over his face, a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt and dark khaki pants.

He displayed a handgun during the robbery and allegedly fired a shot. However, no one was injured.

The amount of money Bowers is alleged to have taken has not been disclosed.

Following the robbery, he took the keys of someone in the bank and fled with that person’s car, a gray 2004 Mazda MZ6. The robber is known to ditch the stolen vehicle about two miles from the robbery near a cemetery, and then is picked up by another car driven by an accomplice.

UPDATED October 28, 2009 11:53 AM

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