By Sharna Johnson, Freedom New Mexico
Police arrested a Clovis man Tuesday for using a fake bomb to rob New Mexico Bank & Trust at Hilltop Plaza in 2006.
Frank Lasky, 22, was charged Tuesday morning with armed robbery and use of a facsimile or hoax bomb or explosive. During the July 14, 2006, robbery, Lasky took an undisclosed amount of cash in the robbery, which has not been recovered, police said.
Lasky is awaiting sentencing in jail for an unrelated robbery conviction.
Police evacuated around 100 people and shut down more than 20 businesses in and around Hilltop Plaza after Lasky told bank employees he had a bomb. A bomb squad from Cannon Air Force Base determined it was fake.
Police broke the case when Lasky’s former girlfriend told them he had robbed the bank, Capt. Patrick Whitney said.
According to an arrest affidavit filed in Curry County Magistrate Court, the woman told police that about a week after robbery Lasky came to her house and told her he robbed the bank. She said he told her he walked in, robbed them and walked out, “just like a piece of cake,” according to the affidavit.
Witnesses told police a white male in a blond wig entered the bank and set a device on the counter. He told them it was a bomb and to give him money, the affidavit said.
Lasky’s girlfriend told police Lasky had taken a blond wig from her house that belonged to her sister.
After tellers gave Lasky an undisclosed amount of money, he ran out the door, the affidavit said.
A witness driving by at the time of the robbery told police she saw a man running north of the bank, unbuttoning his shirt as he ran, carrying a bag with blond hair sticking out.
Whitney, who was lead detective in the case, said Lasky has been the primary suspect for more than a year but police needed more information to make an arrest.
He said the woman who saw the suspect running north of the bank picked Lasky out of a lineup about a year ago, but said she wasn’t certain enough to testify.
The statements of Lasky’s former girlfriend finally tipped the balance in the case, he said.
Police do not know where the money is, Whitney said.
Lasky has been in jail since September 2006 for robbing K’s Oriental Food Store at gunpoint.
District Attorney Matt Chandler said Lasky is facing 10 years or more on the bank robbery and more than 26 years when he is sentenced this week for the robbery of the Korean food store.