On Monday, November 24th, at approximately 3 pm, Liberty Bank in Crane Missouri received a phone call in reference to a possible bomb located on their property. The caller advised them to leave money beside a vehicle outside. Crane Officers and County Deputies arrived on scene and searched the building and located nothing. No money was taken. Detectives contacted the main office of Liberty Bank and obtained information about the call to further the investigation.
On Wed, December 3rd, at approximately 2:30 pm, the Anstaff Bank in Berryville, Arkansas, was the target of a robbery. A vehicle description from the incident was given to local agencies and Stone County Detectives contacted Berryville Detectives. Upon talking, the cases of both banks were very similar.
Working together with Berryville, Stone County Detectives identified a person of interest who resided in Kimberling City, Missouri. The individual was later detained and taken to the Stone County Jail. Search Warrants were served at the residence in Kimberling City on December 4th, and a vehicle was seized.
Detectives are working with the Prosecutors in both Stone County and Carroll County today. Investigation is still ongoing.
On Friday, Dec 4th, Detectives submitted a Probable Cause Statement to the Prosecuting Attorney in Stone County. It outlined further facts concerning the case.
The phone that was used to contact the bank in Crane was the same phone used to contact the bank in Berryville. Records from the phone was obtained and they showed the phone was used in the area of Crane and Berryville at the respective incidents. The vehicle which was located in Kimberling City was a Black and White Ford Crown Victoria which was also seen in Berryville during the robbery.
Stone County Detectives located the Crown Victoria and identified the individual with it. When approached in Kimberling, the vehicle fled and a short pursuit followed. The driver of the vehicle, Gerald Helcher, was taken into custody and transported to Stone County Jail. A search warrant was executed at the residence of Gerald Helcher in Kimberling City later that afternoon. During the search, several items located in the residence were seized.
Prosecuting Attorney Matt Selby reviewed the Probable Cause Statement and filed the following charges:
Gerald Lee Helcher, a 42 yr old white male from Kimberling City, charged with:
Class A Felony Robbery – 1st Degree
Class C Felony Making a Terrorist Threat
Class D Felony Resisting/Interfering with Arrest for a Felony
Bond for Gerald Lee Helcher was set at $150,000.00 Cash/Surety. He remains in custody at the Stone County Jail.
Sheriff Doug Rader
Stone County Missouri