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Bank robber sentenced to prison

Crime Watch

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Craig Blankenship

IDAHO FALLS — A man who robbed a bank and then went on a shopping spree will spend up to 10 years in prison.

Craig Blankenship robbed the Bank of Commerce on West Broadway on June 26, 2018. He walked away with $1,672, then started visiting local stores. On Monday, a judge sentenced him to 10 years in prison with 2.5 years fixed and 7.5 years indeterminate.

Blankenship had pleaded guilty to the felony robbery charge as part of a plea agreement. In exchange for Blankenship agreeing to plead guilty to the bank robbery, the prosecution dropped a separate case from June 12 that involved grand-theft and two robbery charges.

Blankenship was arrested last year after law enforcement was able to track him down at a hotel.

The bank robbery had originally been reported to police around 9:30 a.m. June 26. Blankenship approached a bank teller at the Bank of Commerce and he handed her a handwritten note demanding all of the $20, $50 and $100 bills. After the teller filled up the plastic bags, Blankenship told her he was upset by the small amount.

Documents show he then ordered the teller to place all the $1, $5 and $10 bills in the bags.

Investigators later discovered that after he robbed the bank, Blankenship purchased a vape machine, vape juice and a battery for a vape machine from Tobacco Connection.

He called an IF Taxi for a ride to the Grand Teton Mall where he used cash to purchase Nike Jordan shoes and two Nike t-shirts from Footlocker, according to documents. He bought Levi’s brand shorts from Macy’s and a Champion brand baseball hat from Zumiez.

Following Blankenship’s shopping trip, he reportedly checked into the Super 8 Hotel on Lindsay Boulevard where he paid for the room with cash.

He had a total of $1,186 that was seized as evidence when he was arrested.