Man Arrested for Farmington Bank Robbery
|FBI Albuquerque February 05, 2009|
Ralph L. Eagler, 59, of Cortez, Colorado, was arrested yesterday for the robbery of the Citizens Bank in Farmington, New Mexico. Eagler was charged with the federal crime of bank robbery and was transported this morning for initial appearance at U.S. Magistrate Court in Albuquerque.
The public played an instrumental role in capturing Eagler, who has an extensive criminal history. Several eyewitnesses furnished detailed descriptions of the bank robber and the getaway vehicle to responding FBI agents and police officers.
The Farmington Police Department’s rapid response to the robbery also played a major role in the apprehension of Eagler. Every available Farmington police officer, from Chief Jim Runnels down to the most junior beat cop, hit the streets in search of the suspect after the robbery call came in. A Farmington patrol officer made the initial traffic stop of Eagler, whose car matched descriptions of the getaway car.
FBI special agents obtained a federal search warrant for the Eagler’s car. All of the money taken during the robbery was recovered during the search, as well as the plaid jacket which matched witness descriptions of the jacket the robber was seen wearing.
One discrepancy was noted by agents and officers between Eagler’s appearance at the time of his arrest and descriptions furnished by eyewitnesses. Witnesses told agents and police that the bank robber had facial hair, but Eagler was sporting none. During the search of his car, agents found an electric razor, a plastic safety razor and skin lotion. Also found were freshly shaven whiskers in the front seat. The whiskers were recovered and seized by FBI agents.
This was a joint FBI and Farmington Police Department investigation.