Man suspected of robbing White City bank caught 20 minutes later

A man allegedly robbed a White City bank before fleeing with an undisclosed amount of cash today, but it took officers only about 20 minutes to find him at a nearby hotel.

Bryan Lepneske, a 40-year-old with no known address, was arrested on first-degree theft charges, the Jackson County Sheriff's Department reported. He is not yet listed in the Jackson County Jail.

"The district attorney will review the case if there are further charges that need to be added," said sheriff's Lt. Christine Bronson.

Police responded to a hold-up alarm at 12:41 p.m. today at the Wells Fargo Bank, 7445 Crater Lake Highway, White City. Witnesses said Lepneske entered the bank and used a note to tell a bank teller he was robbing them. He did not show a weapon and fled with the cash. He was last seen running toward Big R. No one was hurt.

Deputies and detectives, along with the sheriff's department's dog Darco, responded to the area. After obtaining a description of the robber, they set up a perimeter and started canvassing local businesses in an attempt to track him down.

"They knew that he was last seen in the Big R area," Bronson said.

At 1 p.m. investigators asked staff at the Brookside Inn & Suites, in the 2000 block of Leigh Way, if they had seen a man matching the description they'd gotten from witnesses. Hotel employees confirmed a man had checked into one of the rooms.

Deputies went to the room and found Lepneske inside at about 1 p.m. He was arrested and taken to the jail.

Bronson said an item of "evidentiary value" was found in the room along with cash, but she would not comment on what it was specifically. Lepneske does not appear to have any additional criminal history in Jackson County, according to court records.

— Ryan Pfeil

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