Suspect in bank robbery attempt appears in court

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published:

Updated: April 3, 2013, 5:44 PM

 

A homeless man appeared Wednesday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of attempting to rob the downtown Vancouver branch of Chase Bank on Tuesday.

Robert D. Hobert, 56, of Vancouver, faces a charge of first-degree robbery at his arraignment April 17. Judge Barbara Johnson set bail at $50,000 and appointed Vancouver attorney Jeff Sowder to defend him.

The 11:30 a.m. incident prompted police to briefly set up a containment zone around much of downtown’s central business district.

The suspect allegedly entered the bank at 1205 Broadway and presented a note demanding money to a teller, Vancouver police said. The note stated, “Give me the money. This is a hold-up,” according to a probable cause affidavit. The teller stepped away from her window out of view. When she didn’t immediately return, the suspect fled on foot through the bank’s north doors, without any cash, police said.

Police apprehended him about 15 minutes later near West 13th and Esther streets in front of the Van Vista apartments complex, where he admitted to the robbery, according to court documents.

Hobert has a criminal history dating to 1978, including multiple counts of assault, indecent exposure, malicious mischief, criminal trespass and probation violations. Most recently, on March 18, a sexual assault protection order was filed against him.