Authorities say a man who committed suicide early Saturday morning in Perry was the same person who had robbed a Dallas County bank just hours earlier.
Twenty-five-year-old Caleb Anderson walked into the Raccoon Valley Bank in Minburn at about 3:45 p.m. Friday, displayed a weapon, and took an undisclosed amount of cash.
The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department responded to the call and quickly identified Anderson as a suspect. In addition to the sheriff’s department, officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Division of Criminal Investigation and Perry Police Department assisted.
"Fortunately, there was a witness," Dallas County Sheriff Chad Leonard said. "The witness had just walked out of the bank as Anderson walked in. He remained outside during the robbery and was able to provide us with a license number on the vehicle when Anderson left the scene."
From the license number Anderson was identified almost immediately as the perpetrator of the robbery. Leonard said law enforcement agencies tracked Anderson to West Des Moines, then to the south side of Des Moines before surrounding Anderson’s home in Perry shortly after 10:15 p.m.
"Because it was a robbery and a weapon was used, both the FBI and DCI were called in," Leonard said. "Had there been charges filed, the case would have been turned over to the FBI since bank robbery is a federal crime. The Special Emergency Task Team was activated when the robbery was reported and that team includes officers from a number of different agencies, plus negotiators.
"The negotiators did a fantastic job and maintained telephone communication with Anderson for several hours. In fact, we all believed Anderson was going to walk out and surrender. That’s what he indicated he would do." But, he didn’t walk out and after Anderson broke off communication, officers entered the home at approximately 2:15 a.m. and found Anderson dead. Just how Anderson died was not released.
"Something must have changed his mind on the way out of the house," Leonard said.
Law enforcement officials obtained a search warrant for Anderson’s home and vehicle. They hoped to locate the stolen money and the weapon used in the robbery. The continuing investigation is being handled by Dallas County.
"There are still a lot of loose ends to tie up," Leonard said. "Although we recovered some of the money (perhaps 25 percent of the total taken), we are still searching for the rest."
Leonard also said that the exact amount taken in the robbery won’t be determined until a bank audit has been completed.