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Published June 10, 2009, 05:59 PM

FBI names Grand Forks man of interest in Gilby bank robbery

GRAND FORKS, N.D. - The FBI figures it has one of the two men who robbed the Bremer Bank in Gilby, N.D., on May 26, and says the man is in jail in Mississippi on unrelated charges.

By: Archie Ingersoll and Stephen J. Lee, Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS, N.D. - The FBI figures it has one of the two men who robbed the Bremer Bank in Gilby, N.D., on May 26, and says the man is in jail in Mississippi on unrelated charges.

FBI agents executed a search warrant at the apartment of Clifton Patterson, 63, right next to the Hugo's stores on 13th Avenue South where investigators say he shows up on video surveillance the day before the robbery.

A woman who lives down the hall from Patterson's apartment said he lived there about two months but she hasn't seen him since the robbery.

The man has not been charged yet with the robbery, but is someone the FBI believes has information about the crime, Special Agent E.K. Wilson said today.

"This individual is a person of interest," Wilson said. "All it means is that we're interested in talking to him."

According to an FBI affidavit related to the search warrant filed in U.S. District Court, investigators believe Patterson is the man seen in video surveillance in the bank during the robbery May 26 and in Hugo's Wine & Spirits store near Altru Hospital on May 25.

During the search, the FBI was looking for items in the apartment at 2505 13th Ave. S. that might have been associated with the robbery, including guns,cash and clothing worn during the heist.

Two men robbed the small town bank, northwest of Grand Forks, on May 26 when one teller was on duty.Described as large and from 45 to 60, one African-American and one white, the men threatened bank employees with guns and made up with more than $50,000.

The African-American man brandished a handgun, the white man a shotgun. The handgun was left at the scene and proved to be a Daisy BB gun.

An FBI affidavit says the men took about $50,000 from the bank's vault and more from the teller's till. The vault and the till each contained five $20 bills with documented serial numbers, known as "bait money," according to the affidavit.

The getaway vehicle that the robbers abandoned just south of Honeyford, N.D., had been stolen from Corwin Chrysler in Fargo, a court document says.

The Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald and The Forum are both owned by Forum Communications Co.

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