SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah, April 22, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A man has been arrested after a string of bank robberies in Salt Lake County.
A probable cause statement from the 3rd District Court of Salt Lake City said Robert McDonald, 50, is facing nine counts of aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony.
The statement said McDonald committed nine aggravated robberies over the course of four days.
On April 18, the accused person entered the Panda Express in Cottonwood Heights, and demanded money from the staff.
“While the A/P demanded money from the staff he concealed his right hand underneath his clothing and pointed an object at the staff; the staff believed it was a weapon,” the statement said. “The A/P took the money from the staff and fled from the scene. The A/P jumped over a fence between the Panda Express property and the apartment complex property to the car he parked in the apartment complex parking lot.”
The following day, McDonald entered the Dan’s Fresh Market in Cottonwood Heights, and demanded money from a staff member at the customer service counter.
“The A/P concealed his right hand underneath his clothing while he demanded the money from the staff member,” the statement said. “The staff member tried to open a plastic grocery sack for the A/P, but was unable to do so because of her reaction to the fear she felt. The A/P opened the plastic grocery sack and the staff member put the money in the sack. The A/P ran across the parking lot and ran through a walkway between a cinder block separating the Dan’s Fresh Market parking with the adjacent neighborhood to the north.”
On April 21, the A/P entered a gift shop/pharmacy in Holladay, and demanded money from the staff while he concealed his hand under his clothing. McDonald fled to his vehicle parked nearby after he left, the police statement said.
On the same day, McDonald entered a Starbuck’s in Cottonwood Heights, and demanded money from the teenage staff members while he concealed his hand underneath his clothing, it said. The staff members were unable to open the register, so the suspect exited the store and fled to the east. He then entered the vehicle he parked nearby and fled the area.
He then entered a grocery market in Midvale, and demanded money from the staff members, the probable cause statement said. He was not given any money and fled to his vehicle. McDonald then entered a hair salon then a dry cleaners, both in Sandy, and demanded money from the staff while he concealed his hand underneath his clothing. He fled the area in the car waiting for him.
Finally, he entered a Subway in Millcreek, and demanded money from the staff while he concealed his hand underneath his clothing. The victim observed McDonald flee the area in an Audi and provided a license plate to law enforcement.
One of the victims from a robbery in Sandy was able to obtain a photograph of the vehicle and its Utah state license plate. The license plate was registered to a 2007 Audi A3; the photograph of the vehicle matched the description of the vehicle from the Utah state vehicle registration. Officers with Cottonwood Heights Police Department were able to obtain information for the registered owner.
Officers located the vehicle; McDonald was observed entering the driver’s seat of the Audi A3 used during the robberies, and his girlfriend was observed entering the front passenger seat. He was then taken into custody.
After being read his Miranda rights, McDonald was interviewed about the robberies.
“The A/P provided information about whether or not he obtained money during each robbery from the victims,” the statement said. “The A/P admitted to demanding money from the victims and he admitted to concealing his hand underneath his clothing to give the appearance he had a firearm.”
He said he also entered a dance studio in the Brickyard area of Salt Lake City, and demanded money from the staff inside.
He also allegedly admitted to taking his girlfriend along on at least one of the robberies.
McDonald was transported to Salt Lake County Jail, where he is being held without bail.