ST. LOUIS – An early morning bank robbery followed by a bomb threat Saturday forced parts of St. Charles Rock Road in St. Ann closed.
Kenneth Hopper, 58, was charged with Robbery and Terrorist Threatening. He had a white beard and was wearing a Santa hat.
Police say Hopper robbed a bank in Bridgeton of $1,000 with the threat that he would blow up the bank with a bomb
He was later arrested and taken into custody but what he said had officials on immediate alert.
“We got him into custody in the back of our vehicle and he started with spontaneous utterances that there’s a bomb in the car,” St. Ann Police Chief Aaron Jimenez said.
Jimenez said that statement after the arrest led to the road closure.
“Which alerted our officers hey if this guy already robbed a bank, then there could possibly be a bomb in the car,” Chief Jimenez said. “We want to take all precautions obviously to keep the public safe.”
Ron Drake was one of the many who faced delays in the last-minute holiday shopping rush.
“Well, we’re supposed to go shopping. Go get new coffee pot and stuff,” Drake said.
Noticing an unexpected delay, he asked an officer what was causing the hold up in traffic.
“I said what’s wrong was it an accident? And he said no, it’s a bomb threat,” Drake said.
Once he heard the officer’s response, he had no problem waiting.
“Well, who wants to get blown up,” Drake said with a laugh.
Chief Jimenez said there was no bomb in the vehicle after all, and nobody was hurt.
“This another example of us putting our lives on the line to catch bad people,” Chief Jimenez said.