Suspects in Carson bank robbery nabbed in Reno

About 90 minutes after a robbery was reported Saturday at a Carson City branch of Wells Fargo Bank, two suspects were found in Sparks.

A robbery alarm from the bank at 1550 Highway 50 East was relayed by dispatchers about 11:30 a.m. to Carson City sheriff's deputies.

Kenneth Bryan Hayes, 28, of Carson City and Nicole Smith, 20, of Gardnerville were taken into custody about 1 p.m. in Sparks. Another male suspect was still being sought Saturday night.

Smith was released after questioning, while Hayes was booked into the Washoe County Jail by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents Saturday evening, according to Carson City Sheriff's Det. Rick Dodds.

Dodds said Hayes admitted to the robbery during questioning. Investigation into Smith's possible involvement is continuing, he said.

No one was injured in the robbery, according to bank employee Lindsey LeBaugh, who was at the branch's front door at noon explaining to customers that the lobby was closed, though they could use the drive-through windows or other branches in local groceries.

No information was released on the amount of money involved in the robbery.

After Carson City investigators obtained descriptions of suspects and a vehicle possibly used the the robbery, Reno-area law officers spotted a vehicle matching the description at the "Spaghetti Bowl," the intersection of Interstate 80 and Highway 395, according to Carson City Sheriff's Chief Deputy Bernie Curtis.

The vehicle was soon located at D&S Tow on Marietta Way in Sparks. Two people fled from officers on foot but were quickly apprehended, Curtis said. They initially were taken to the Sparks Police Department.

"Some guy came up to a teller window with a note," LeBaugh said. "I didn't really see it happen. They don't want me to say anything."

Curtis said the suspects used a note warning they had a gun, but no gun was seen by witnesses in the bank. He said evidence and a recovered replica handgun obtained during the investigation implicated the two people arrested in Sparks in the Carson City robbery.

Soon after the robbery report, dispatchers alerted area police to look for two white male suspects, each about 18-19 years old and about 6 feet, 2 inches tall.

Shortly before 1 p.m., dispatchers indicated that two suspects were in custody in the Reno area. A Reno Police Department sergeant confirmed that two people were being held at a towing company in Sparks.

Brown and Smith were initially taken to the Sparks Police Department, where they were interviewed by local detectives, agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Dodds.

Dodds said the pair were found near Smith's vehicle and had apparently gone to the Sparks towing company to retrieve Hayes' car.

Smith's vehicle was released to her when she was let go and she was allowed to drive it home, Dodds said.


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