Tucson police say a suspected bank robber who threatened to blow up a bomb in his mouth is an Army Sergeant at Ft. Huachca. We're also told he may have tried to stick up the same bank before.
The incident began around 9:30 Monday morning and Sgt. Jeffrey Leon Lewis Jr. was in custody about 1 hour and 15 minutes later.
Investigators say Lewis Jr. walked into the Wells Fargo on Speedway near Cherry and handed the teller a note saying he had a bomb in his mouth. Police responded to a silent alarm. They handcuffed Lewis to a fence, and then the bomb squad sent in a robot to remove duct tape from his face.
Investigators say Lewis Jr. spit out the would-be explosive, but nothing explosive was found. Both sides of Speedway were blocked off while police checked what might be the vehicle driven by the man.
Police tell KOLD News 13 they have surveillance video of a man believed to be Sgt. Lewis Jr. attempting to rob the same bank last January—but they say he got spooked.
Authorities say Lewis Jr. would likely have an easier time getting explosives with his position in the military. Police are still checking the neighborhood for explosives. Officers say the suspect might have had accomplices, and there may be more arrests.
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