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West Valley man arrested in series of bank robberies, police say

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SALT LAKE CITY — A West Valley man recently charged with robbing a grocery store has been arrested and accused of robbing banks while waiting for his next court hearing.

Vu Van Nguyen, 45, was arrested Tuesday for investigation of two counts of aggravated robbery and robbery.

On July 10, Nguyen went into a Winco, 2193 S. Main, handed an employee a note and demanded money while claiming he had a gun, according to charging documents. The employee refused to give Nguyen money and then refused to give him his note back.

Nguyen was arrested a short time later, released the next day to Pre-trial Services, and charged in 3rd District Court on July 21 with aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor.

According to a new police affidavit, on the same day Nguyen was charged, he entered Zions Bank, 310 S. Main, and “presented a note to the teller demanding money and threatening harm with a weapon.”

Nguyen received an undisclosed amount of money and left, police say.

Two days later, on July 23, Nguyen did the same thing at Key Bank, 410 E. 400 South, and then again on Tuesday at Chase Bank, 376 E. 400 South, the affidavit states.

Police searching the area on Tuesday following the robbery located Nguyen and arrested him. He told detectives he committed the robberies “in order to fuel his drug addiction,” according to the affidavit.

“Vu Nguyen has expressed that he needs to fuel his addiction and this is a quick way he knows how to obtain money. If Vu Nguyen is released, it is probable that he will continue to commit robberies in order to fuel his addiction,” police wrote in the report.