Federal prosecutors accuse a 23-year-old Lawrence man of robbing a Topeka bank Thursday afternoon, about 12 hours after he posted bond in Douglas County related to an arrest on suspicion of two car-wash burglaries.
According to U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom’s office, Paul Stewart Wade was taken into custody Thursday evening in Ellis County as law enforcement officers stopped a blue Volkswagen Jetta that matched a description of the robbery vehicle earlier in Topeka.
In both of his arrests, witnesses gave authorities vehicle descriptions that led officers to Wade.
A U.S. Bank branch in Topeka was robbed after 4 p.m. Thursday, and police were looking for the vehicle that had a license plate registered to an address in Lawrence.
According to an affidavit filed by FBI special agent Bruce Hudson in the federal case Friday afternoon, the suspect gave a teller a note stating: “This is a robbery give me all the money in both your drawers or I will use my gun,” although the teller never saw a gun.
A Kansas Highway Patrol trooper Thursday night stopped the blue Volkswagen Jetta seen at the bank hours earlier on Interstate 70 near Hays, and arrested Wade and recovered a pillowcase containing money that matched evidence at the scene. He’s charged with one count of bank robbery.
Hours before he was arrested Thursday, Wade had already had trouble with the law. Lawrence police said he was arrested as one of two suspects in two burglaries Wednesday night at car washes at 2828 Iowa and 3560 W. Sixth St. Paul and his brother, John Kenneth Wade, 18, were both arrested after a car stop on Sixth Street based on a vehicle description provided to police at the Iowa Street burglary. According to the federal affidavit, John Wade was not with Paul Wade during the alleged bank robbery, and Paul Wade had taken the keys to the Jetta that day from his family home in the 3000 block of Campfire Drive.
“They did not know Paul Wade’s current whereabouts, but believed he might be returning to Colorado where he attended college,” according to court records.
Police said in the car-wash burglaries earlier the men were suspected of using an axe to try to damage cash boxes at the car washes, but they were unsuccessful.
Both Paul and John Wade were freed from the Douglas County Jail about 4 a.m. Thursday after Paul Wade posted $9,000 bond and John Wade posted $4,500 bond. Both men were given notice to appear in court On June 7 in Douglas County.
But federal authorities now accuse Paul Wade of robbing the bank in Topeka later Thursday afternoon. According to an affidavit filed in the federal case, investigators accuse Wade of indicating to bank staff members that he had a gun.