Terrorism charge for woman arrested in bungled Ogden heist

Friday , August 01, 2014 - 9:39 PM

Ava Strebel

Ava Strebel (Booking mug courtesy Weber County jail)...

OGDEN — A suspect has been arrested in connection with a bomb scare and attempted robbery Monday at Wasatch Peaks Credit Union.

Ava Strebel, 50, was arrested by Ogden police Thursday and booked into Weber County Jail on suspicion of aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony, and making a threat of terrorism, a second-degree felony.

Strebel reportedly placed a fake explosive device labeled “bomb” in the teller drawer at the credit union’s drive-through at 975 S. Washington Blvd.

She then drove away without receiving any money, Ogden police reported in a probable cause affidavit filed Friday.

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The affidavit states crime scene investigators detected Strebel’s fingerprints on the grocery bag she used to conceal the hoax bomb.

They also used a photo of Strebel at the scene and compared it with a previous booking photo. The photos reportedly matched, making it “obvious that this was Ava that committed the crime,” police say.

Strebel allegedly admitted to the crime at the time of her arrest. Notepad paper found in her vehicle also matched the paper she used during the attempted robbery, according to the affidavit.

Strebel reportedly was wearing large sunglasses, a blue jacket and a white covering over much of her head during the attempted robbery. She allegedly told officers she threw the disguise out of the window of the Ford Explorer she was driving when she reached the 700 block of Grant Avenue.

Strebel will make her first court appearance Monday in 2nd District Court in Ogden before Judge Michael DiReda. Her bail is set at $10,000 for the terrorism-related charge and $20,000 for the accusation of aggravated robbery.

The credit union was evacuated for several hours after the threat and botched robbery attempt, Ogden Police Lt. Tim Scott told the Standard-Examiner earlier this week. Employees called police after the clerk noticed the package was labeled as a bomb and immediately sent it back outside.

Strebel included a note demanding money and threatening to blow up the building, police say, but it wasn’t seen by the clerk because it was inside the labeled “bomb” package.

A robot and a heavily armored officer from the Davis County Bomb Squad investigated the package, eventually finding wire wrapped around some batteries. The device was a harmless fake, Scott said.

Contact reporter Ben Lockhart at 801-625-4221 or blockhart@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @SE_Lockhart. Like his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/blockhartSE.

Reporter Andreas Rivera contributed to this story.

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