BILLINGS - A man accused of robbing two Billings banks within a week was charged Wednesday in Yellowstone County District Court.
Patrick Allen Justice, 25, was charged with two counts of felony robbery during an arraignment hearing. Justice was also charged with an unrelated felony assault charge stemming from an incident in July, and drug charges from a case filed in 2022. Not guilty pleas were entered on his behalf to all the charges and bond was set at $50,000 concurrent in each case.
An 87-year-old man prosecutors allege was driving the get-away car in the second bank robbery was also arrested but has yet to appear for arraignment. Steven Jamie Whitecloud was initially booked into the Yellowstone County jail but has since been released based on possible medical concerns, an official said.
According to state prison records, Whitecloud has previous felony convictions in Yellowstone County for robbery in 2008 and criminal endangerment in 2021. He was on probation at the time of his arrest for the two recent bank robberies.
The two men are accused of robbing the US Bank on Grand Avenue on Aug. 24, then hitting the Wells Fargo Bank on Main Street four days later. They were arrested shortly after the second robbery after an officer noticed a vehicle matching the description of a vehicle involved in the first robbery. The men were arrested without incident following a short, slow-speed chase, police said.
A US Bank employee told police he saw a suspect enter the bank wearing a straw hat, sunglasses, and a blue bandana over his face. The suspect approached his till, the employee said, and passed him a note that read: "give me all the money in the cash register, no GPS, no ink. I have a weapon," according to court records.
The employee emptied the cash register as ordered and gave the money to the suspect, who walked out of the bank and down an alley. The robber got away with approximately $3,092, according to court records.
Four days later, at about 4:30 p.m., a Wells Fargo employee told police a man approached her till and passed her note that read something like: "give me the money in the cash register, no dye packs," court records state.
The employee also said the suspect stated he was "strapped" and although she did not see a gun the suspect "spoke of someone shooting up the bank if he did not get the money" from the employee.
While officers were at the bank in the Heights, another officer spotted a green Ford Taurus traveling south on Main Street. The car matched the description of the vehicle the suspects used to leave the bank after the first robbery. The officer initiated a traffic stop and the car "continued to drive and a short pursuit occurred" prior to the car stopping on Sixth Avenue North where Justice and Whitecloud were arrested.
Prosecutors allege Justice later admitted to committing the two robberies.