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Man linked to bank robberies attempts escape

May 1, 2019

KINGMAN — A person of interest in two recent bank robberies in Bullhead City reportedly attempted to escape and scuffled with a detention officer in Kingman late Monday afternoon.

Stephen Ray Wilkinson, 39, Golden Valley, was picked up Saturday on an arrest warrant for an alleged probation violation.

Wilkinson is the focus of ongoing investigation of a March 26 robbery of National Bank of Arizona on Highway 95 and an April 12 holdup at Mission Bank on Palma Way. Police said the suspect told tellers he had a gun and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash in both heists.

Mohave County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Anita Mortensen said Wilkinson was being escorted to a van for transport back to jail following a hearing at the Mohave County Courthouse at about 5:30 p.m. Monday. She said a detention officer said he was leading Wilkinson and another inmate to the van and was removing his vehicle keys from his belt when Wilkinson lunged at him while trying to take the keys.

“The officer positioned his body away from the inmate to secure his keys when Wilkinson lunged again and shoved the officer against the vehicle,” a news release stated. “A struggle ensued and the officer continued to attempt to place Wilkinson on the ground while Wilkinson continued to resist.”

Mortensen said the officer deployed pepper spray in an attempt to subdue Wilkinson and that the other inmate helped the officer gain control and end the struggle. The officer was not injured and Wilkinson has been charged with aggravated assault on a correctional employee and escape.

He previously was being held on the warrant, and had been booked on suspicion of possession of dangerous drugs, possession of narcotic drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia.

No charges have been filed in connection with either bank robbery.

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