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Valley Bank branch in Helena robbed, suspect arrested

Valley Bank branch in Helena robbed
Posted at 5:30 PM, Apr 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-16 19:47:15-04

HELENA — The Valley Bank branch on 9th Avenue was robbed on Friday afternoon, and a suspect has been arrested.

Helena resident John James Laverdure, 45 years old, was arrested and is facing one charge of felony robbery; he was booked into the Lewis & Clark County Detention Center.

At 3:22 p.m. the 911 Dispatch Center received a telephone call from an employee at Valley Bank reporting one of the tellers had been robbed and a male suspect had left the building.

HPD says they were told that the suspect handed the bank employee a note demanding money and ran away from the bank after receiving cash. Police are not releasing the amount of money taken in the robbery at this time.

No weapon was shown during the incident and there were no reports of injuries to anyone involved.

Reviewing surveillance footage from the bank, an HPD detective believed the man to be Laverdure due to other recent involvements with law enforcement. A description of a vehicle he was known to drive was then sent to patrol units.

A patrol officer found the vehicle and Laverdure at the Holiday convenience store along the 400 block of Euclid Avenue. Laverdure was detained and during a subsequent search, officers found a large amount of cash and other evidence connecting Laverdure to the robbery.

The Helena Police Department was assisted during the incident by the Montana Highway Patrol and Montana Probation & Parole.