Grants Pass bank robbery suspect arrested in Nevada, police say

The suspect is a 21-year-old man from Washington state who came to the attention of detectives through social media posts.

Posted: Feb 11, 2020 3:49 PM
Updated: Feb 13, 2020 6:03 PM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — The man suspected of robbing a Rogue Credit Union branch in Grants Pass last month has been arrested in Nevada, according to the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety.

Just before noon on January 31, a man entered the credit union at 249 NE Terry Lane and demanded money from the bank teller. He left the branch with an undisclosed amount of money before driving away in a green sedan, GPDPS said.

"Officers and detectives responded to the area and began an in-depth investigation," the agency said. "Information about the suspect and the bank robbery was sent out via social media."

Appropriately, it was social media that led detectives to a suspect in the case. A GPDPS dispatcher deployed overseas happened to see an unrelated post on social media indicating that a 21-year-old Joseph Arrunategui had gone missing after telling family members in Albany, Oregon that he was in some kind of trouble.

Investigators later determined that Arrunategui was on the run after having robbed a bank in Washington.

During her off time on deployment, the dispatcher did more research and reportedly found details that linked Arrunategui to the Grants Pass robbery, handing the information off the GPDPS detectives.

The detectives soon discovered that Arrunategui had been arrested in Mineral County, Nevada on unrelated charges the day after the robbery. With the assistance of the local Sheriff's Office, GPDPS detectives issued search warrants to be served in Mineral county

"Evidence was obtained linking Arrunategui to the Rogue Credit Union bank robbery," the agency said. "Arrunategui is currently in custody in the Mineral County Jail on their local charges, as well as an arrest warrant out of Washington."

GPDPS said that the investigation is still ongoing as it continues to work with law enforcement in Nevada and Washington. Charges are being referred to the Josephine County District Attorney's Office at the conclusion of the investigation for the Rogue Credit Union robbery.

"GPDPS wants to express our thanks to Mineral County Sheriff's Office for their assistance with this investigation and assisting with our local charges, as well as our sharp eyed dispatcher working from afar to help keep Grants Pass safe," the agency said.

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