Illustration by Bryan Gomm

Salt Lake City police were stumped on Friday, Jan. 7, when a young man held up Bank of the West at around 1 p.m.  The suspect, in his 20s and around 5’8”, reportedly entered the bank during the lunch hour and handed the teller a note describing his demands. The teller complied, and the suspect fled the scene with an unknown amount of money.

This event is surprising in and of itself, but the suspect’s colorful exit is what left SLCPD scratching their heads. The clever criminal, foregoing the clichéd Lincoln as his getaway, instead hopped on a ten-speed and pedaled to freedom. Yes, ladies and gentleman, a bank robber in a major metropolitan city was able to escape on a mountain bike. The suspect, in fact, was seen headed southeast from the bank, right past the Public Safety Building that houses Salt Lake City Police Department headquarters.

Police have no leads as of yet and are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect. And yes, we checked, Lance Armstrong’s alibi is airtight.

There’s no question that this particular criminal made a pretty bold move, but what seems even more incredible is that he was able to get away in such a pedestrian fashion. According to The Highway Cycling Group, the average human male, just like the suspect described, is able to maintain a speed of 14-17 miles per hour on a mountain bike traveling on pavement with semi-slick tires. The average Chevy Malibu, the vehicle issued to Salt Lake City Policemen, can reach 60 miles per hour in 8.2 seconds, according to These statistics make this outlandish crime even more surreal and echo the Old West, where the second act of the routine hold up was to saddle up – albeit this has a much more contemporary twist.

Salt Lake City Police is asking anyone to come forward and call their tip line at 801-799-3000. Tipsters can remain anonymous.