By Keith Coffman
DENVER (Reuters) - A babysitter accused of robbing a drive-through bank in a small Colorado town while two girls she was caring for were inside her vehicle stole the money to pay restitution from an earlier criminal theft case, court documents showed on Tuesday.
Rachel Einspahr, 28, is being held on a $40,000 cash-only bond in the Weld County jail on suspicion of robbery and child abuse stemming from last week’s incident at a bank in Severance, about 55 miles north of Denver, authorities said.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit filed by a detective with the Weld County Sheriff’s Office, Einspahr removed the license plates from her Nissan Pathfinder, picked up the two girls that she was hired to babysit, bought them candy and drove to the bank.
She then passed along a note to a teller through a vacuum tube.
“Do not sound alarm. The man in the very back wants $100s and $50s no dye packs or trackers he has a gun on my kids,” the note said, according to the affidavit.
The teller, Jeffrey Swanson, believed there were “lives in danger,” and gave her $500, police said, but he did not see a man inside the SUV as it drove away.
Shortly after dropping off the girls, Einspahr was detained by police, and initially repeated the story of a man with a gun demanding money and threatening her and the children.
But when confronted with the evidence, including a statement from one of the two girls who said there was no man in the vehicle, Einspahr confessed to the bank robbery, the affidavit said.
Einspahr said she needed $15,000 as an initial restitution payment as part of a plea bargain that was set to go before a judge on Wednesday in an earlier case, police said.
“I can’t go back to jail,” she told an investigator, the affidavit said.
The Greeley Tribune newspaper reported on Tuesday that in the earlier case, Einspahr was charged with 31 felony counts of theft, identity theft and forgery for allegedly stealing more than $30,000 from two businesses that she once worked for.
Prosecutors in that case accused Einspahr of writing checks to herself from the businesses to settle a debt with a collection agency, pay other legal bills and for dental work, the newspaper said.
Einspahr is set to be formally charged for the bank robbery on Wednesday, a district attorney’s spokeswoman said.
(Editing by Sharon Bernstein and Cynthia Osterman)