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Police: Man confesses to Colusa bank robbery
The 57-year-old Chico man accused of robbing the Bank of America in Corning, has reportedly confessed to two other area armed robberies and to a bank heist in Colusa.
Gary Belcher reportedly told Corning police investigators while being transported from Butte County Jail to Tehama County Jail that he robbed the Bank of America on Sept. 10, Corning police Chief Don Atkins said.
Atkins said Belcher, who was arrested by Chico police on Thursday, also confessed to robbing the Subway shop in Corning on July 25, and to robbing the Chevron station at Rolling Hills Casino.
Additionally, Belcher is said to have confessed to robbing the US Bank in Colusa on Aug. 31.
Atkins said Belcher repeated the information during interviews at the Tehama County Jail the night he was arrested.
Belcher was arrested about 4 p.m. Thursday with Emily Clark, 36, of Willows. She is being charged in Butte County on suspicion of armed robbery of a Dollar Store on Sept. 4.
The couple were suspected of being the same two people who entered a Chico bank wearing disguises about 2:30 p.m.
A bank employee familiar with the Colusa robbery, told the manager. When he confronted the couple, they fled, police said.
Belcher and Clark were spotted by a Chico police officer in a tan Chevrolet Tahoe, still wearing disguises that matched those of the couple in the bank, and stopped at a Walgreen's store at East and Cohasset streets.
A similar vehicle was used during the Corning bank robbery, police said.
Belcher was arrested with a loaded handgun in his possession, and was later identified by detectives as the suspect in the Corning bank robbery, Chico police reported.
Belcher reportedly walked into the Corning bank around 2:15 p.m. on Sept. 10, approached a teller, displayed a handgun and ordered her to put money into a white plastic bag, police said.
That scenario was very similar to the Colusa robbery, in which a man approached a teller, displayed a semi-automatic handgun, then demanded money be put into a bag he provided.
In each case, the robber escaped with an undisclosed amount of money.
The robber at the Subway shop also had a gun and escaped with what was reported to be a little more than $200, Corning police said.
Details of the gas station robbery were not available.
It is the second time in about 18 months that banks in Tehama and Colusa counties have been robbed, and one man has been linked to each set of them.
Michael Taylor of Chico was sentenced to five years in federal prison last September after he pleaded guilty to robbing an Umpqua Bank in Los Molinos on March 2, 2011, and the same US Bank in Colusa on March 8.
He was arrested at his Chico home the next day, having gotten away with more than $13,000, which authorities believe he gambled away at area casinos.
Like Belcher, Taylor also had confessed to the robberies following his arrest.