Bank robber tips taxi driver $5 for getaway


MISSOULA — A man robbed a downtown Missoula bank Tuesday and then called a taxi to make his getaway, dropping a $5 tip on the driver just before squad cars surrounded the cab, police said.

Taxi driver James Anderson told the Missoulian the man was acting strangely when he picked him up at a coffee shop.

The man first requested to be taken to the University of Montana campus, but was unable to give Anderson a specific location. He then asked to be taken to a hotel but not before stopping to buy cigarettes, Anderson said.

“He mentioned there would be a good tip in it for me,” the driver said.

The cab fare was $7.50, and Anderson said the man gave him a $5 tip as they arrived at the hotel parking lot. Then police cars pulled up and officers surrounded the taxi with guns drawn, Anderson said.

Police allege the man had entered Sterling Savings Bank just before 10 a.m., told a teller he had a weapon and demanded money. Nobody at the bank saw a weapon, and no one was injured.

The man, who is in his 60s, was wearing a gray Seattle Seahawks sweat shirt, which was later found on the ground half a block from the bank, police said.

The man has been taken into custody, but charges have not yet been filed. Police did not release the man’s name.

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