West Coast Bank robbery suspect appears in court

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A Vancouver man suspected of robbing a Salmon Creek bank last week made his first appearance Monday in Clark County Superior Court.

Judge Rich Melnick set bail at $50,000 for Juan A. Salas, 39.

Salas appeared on suspicion of first-degree robbery and second-degree theft in connection to the June 25 heist at West Coast Bank, 13305 N.E. Highway 99.

Details emerged in court papers filed Monday. Police said that Salas’ 2003 Cadillac Escalade had been repossessed twice in the past year, most recently two weeks before the robbery, according to court documents.

Investigators called the information a “possible motive,” according to court documents.

The robber gave a teller a demand note stating: “50s and 100s only. I know where you live,” court documents show, and escaped with an undisclosed amount of money.

After the event, a surveillance shot of the robber was released to the media and investigators received anonymous tips that Salas was the robber.

An investigator left a voice mail message for Salas, which the suspect returned, saying in a phone call that he wanted to turn himself in. Salas was arrested Friday.

He also returned the money, which included five $20 bills, according to court documents.

At his first appearance, Salas told the judge that he planned to retain defense attorney Jon McMullen. Salas’ next court appearance is scheduled for July 6.