South Range man in court in Poplar bank robbery caseA South Range man accused of robbing the National Bank of Commerce in Poplar made an initial appearance Monday in Douglas County Circuit Court.
A South Range man accused of robbing the National Bank of Commerce in Poplar made an initial appearance Monday in Douglas County Circuit Court.
Aaron John Helland, 35, faces felony charges of robbery of a financial institution and operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent stemming from the Sept. 9 incident.
According to the criminal complaint:
Helland took a taxi from Duluth to Poplar the day of the robbery, telling the cab driver he wanted to stop at the Village Market and bank in Poplar. The driver let him off at the market and parked the car. He saw his fare come running out of the bank in a westerly direction.
The teller from the bank picked Helland out from a photo lineup as the man who robbed the National Bank of Commerce. She said he handed her a note telling her this was a robbery and to give him all her money. She asked him if this was a joke, and he replied, “No.”
She pulled money from her drawer, the man grabbed it and ran out the door. According to the complaint, about $800 was taken.
Helland turned himself in to Duluth police the evening of the robbery, the complaint stated.
The South Range man is also accused of stealing a vehicle from Poplar after the robbery. A Poplar man reported that his Jeep Cherokee had been stolen on the day of the robbery. The vehicle was recovered in Duluth on Sept. 10, parked not far from the Duluth Police Department.
If convicted, Helland faces up to 40 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $100,000 on the robbery charge, up to six years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000 for operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent.
Cash bail was set at $10,000, according to online court records. Helland remains in custody at the Douglas County Jail. A preliminary hearing was slated for next week.
The South Range man has previous Douglas County convictions for burglary, uttering a forgery, arson, possession of a Molotov cocktail and felon in possession of a firearm, according to online court records.