Arrest made in Coralville bank robbery

Woman identified via CrimeStoppers tips

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CORALVILLE — A Coralville woman wanted in connection with a bank robbery there in August is in custody in Johnson County.

Coralville police Lt. Shane Kron said 20-year-old Andrea L. Gathings was arrested in Arkansas by authorities there a couple of weeks ago. She was booked at the Johnson County Jail at 10:25 a.m. Monday, according to jail records.

Gathings is accused of robbing the US Bank at 506 10th Ave. on Aug. 5. Police said Gathings entered the bank just before 5 p.m. and passed a handwritten note to a teller. The note demanded $1,200 or the money in the cash drawer, police said.

The note also stated that if the employee did not do as instructed, Gathings would be killed by her boyfriend. The employee gave Gathings cash and the woman fled the bank.

Police had little trouble identifying Gathings as the suspect in the robbery. A surveillance photo was released, and with Gathings taking little effort to conceal her identity, nearly 40 CrimeStoppers tips poured in — all identifying Gathings, Kron said.

“By that evening, we already had a name,” he said, adding a CrimeStoppers tip also led police to look for Gathings in Arkansas.

Kron said investigators spoke with Gathings, who “didn’t say much.” He said police tried to look into her claims that a boyfriend made her commit the robbery, but Gathings didn’t give them much to go on.

“We’re going to take the information we have and investigate this as thoroughly as we can,” Kron said. “If she doesn’t give us more information, all we have is a note.”

Sometimes, Kron said, people just get desperate, and the success rates for solving those bank robberies is pretty high.

“We chalked it up to not a well thought-out plan,” he said. “Bank robberies tend to be that way. You have the people who rob banks, that’s what they do. Those tend to be more planned. The ones that are just spur of the moment, oftentimes, are just flawed.”

Gathings now faces one count of second-degree robbery, a Class C felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

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