Bank robbery suspect faces arraignment
The 57-year-old Chico man suspected in the armed robbery of the US Bank in Colusa continues his journey through the Tehama County judicial system.
Gary Dean Belcher, formerly of Willows, waived his preliminary hearing last week and is scheduled for arraignment on Monday on charges of two felony counts of second-degree robbery and one felony count on attempted second-degree robbery, each with a special allegation of using a firearm while committing a robbery.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, but reportedly has confessed to robbing the Bank of America and the Subway restaurant in Corning, and attempting to rob the Chevron Station at Rolling Hills Casino.
He also reportedly confessed to robbing the Colusa bank.
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 Sept. 13, also confessed to robbing the Subway shop in Corning on July 25, and to robbing the Chevron station at Rolling Hills Casino on Aug. 23.
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 Sept. 13 with Emily Clark, 36, of Willows. She has pleaded not guilty in Butte County on a charge of armed robbery in connection to a robbery at a Dollar Store in Chico on Sept. 4.
Tehama County District Attorney Gregg Cohen said he has been in touch with the US Attorney's Office discussing the potential for federal prosecution in order to combine the bank robbery in Corning and the one in Colusa.
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.
The two counties are linked in another pair of bank robberies in March 2011.