Press-Republican

Offbeat Crime News

August 30, 2012

Man turned self in for ND bank robbery

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Kent Anthony Clemens returned home to Kansas after a short stay in North Dakota's booming oil patch with a stack of crisp $50 bills, sharing what authorities say was ill-gotten booty with his sister.

Then, apparently, guilt set in.

Three days after Clemens allegedly held up a bank in the western North Dakota town of Williston, the 53-year-old called 911 and asked police in his hometown of Topeka, Kan., to arrest him "for making a mistake," according to an FBI affidavit filed in federal court.

"People have an attack of conscience all the time — like returning stolen items to a store," Topeka Police Chief Ron Miller said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "But it is unusual to rob a bank and then call 911 in an attack of conscience."

When police arrived at Clemens' home last month, he was sitting on the front porch, "wearing what appeared to be the same blue polo shirt he was wearing when he committed the Gates City Bank robbery," the FBI affidavit said. He "put both of his hands out to police and told them to arrest him for making a mistake," court papers said.

Clemens is being held in North Dakota. He appeared in federal court in Bismarck on Aug. 17 and waived his right to a preliminary hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Rick Volk said. Federal public defender Heather Mitchell said no other court hearings have been scheduled.

Neither attorney would comment on specifics of the case.

According to court papers, the suspect was wearing a polo shirt, a golf-style flat cap and tinted glasses when he walked into Gates City Bank in Williston on July 18.

He "looked more like he was going golfing than robbing a bank," said Williston Police Det. Cory Collings.

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