Veterans Home robbery suspect pleads "Not Guilty"

surveillance capture courtesy Scottsbluff Police Department

A 32 year old Morrill man charged with robbery in the theft of a wallet from a Western Nebraska Veterans Home resident entered a not guilty plea during his arraignment hearing in Scotts Bluff County District Court Friday.

Curtis Soester is accused of being the man who took a wallet attached to a chain from Veteran's Home resident David Bixler's pocket outside the facility.

Police say surveillance video showed the suspect arriving at the scene on a blue and white bicycle and court documents say an-off-duty officer observed a man riding a similar bicycle near the police department in the early evening hours. A search of the area located a blue and white bicycle matching the one observed in the surveillance video in the front yard of 1702 3rd Avenue in Scottsbluff.

Court documents say officers identified Soester, who said he was homeless but provided suspicious information about the bicycle and theft. Through interviews with other people who knew Soester officers gained information leading to his arrest.

While being transported to the jail, Soester allegedly provided the officer with the driver's license of the victim, which he had concealed prior to his arrest.

Judge Randy Lippstreu set a pretrial conference for June 26th with trial set for the jury term that begins July 7th. Soester remains jailed with bond set at $200,000 with a 10% cash provision.

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