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Suspect in Grants Pass bank robbery captured in Nevada

The efforts of a Grants Pass police dispatcher who is deployed overseas led to the arrest of a Washington man in Nevada who is suspected of having robbed a bank in Grants Pass.

Evidence seized in Mineral County, Nevada, allegedly tied Washington resident Joseph Samuel Arrunategui, 21, to a Jan. 31 robbery at a Grants Pass Rogue Credit Union branch, according to a press release issued Tuesday by Grants Pass police.

Shortly before noon Jan. 31, Arrunategui allegedly entered the credit union at 249 NE Terry Lane wearing sunglasses and a black knit cap, demanded money from the teller, then fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash in a green sedan.

Shortly after the robbery, a Grants Pass police dispatcher saw out-of-area social media posts reporting Arrunategui as missing, according to Grants Pass police. The dispatcher worked during her off-duty time to find evidence that allegedly linked Arrunategui to the Grants Pass robbery, and relayed the information to local detectives, the release said.

The posts alleged that Arrunategui went missing after telling a family member in Albany he’d committed a Washington bank robbery, the release said.

Grants Pass detectives learned Arrunategui had been held in the county jail in Hawthorne, Nevada, since Feb. 1, stemming from unrelated charges.

Grants Pass police worked with the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office to execute search warrants in Nevada that allegedly yielded evidence that tied Arrunategui to the Grants Pass robbery.

Police on Tuesday referred evidence of first-degree theft and third-degree robbery to the Josephine County District Attorney’s Office, but police are still investigating the case.

As of Tuesday evening, Arrunategui remained in the Mineral County Jail on Nevada charges and a Washington warrant.

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