Authorities link pair to Kossuth robbery

Two men who allegedly stole a car and led Fort Dodge police on a chase through town have been linked to a bank robbery in Kossuth County.

Stoney Rock Gifford, 24, of Des Moines, and Seth William Garrett, 27, 1705 Fourth Ave. S., are expected to be charged with terrorism and two counts each of second-degree robbery in Kossuth County.

They are being held in the Webster County Jail on bond.

Kossuth County Sheriff Stephen Kollasch said in a press release that his department received an anonymous call at 11:02 a.m. Tuesday from someone saying they were going to bomb an elementary school in Algona.

Law enforcement evacuated Algona’s three elementary schools and searched them.

About 10 minutes later, authorities learned through a 911 call that the West Iowa Bank in Fenton had been robbed. Fenton is about 20 miles northwest of Algona.

The robbery suspects reportedly got away with an employee’s purse and keys.

Gifford and Garrett were arrested later Tuesday after a police chase in Fort Dodge.

Officers spotted a silver 2009 Chrysler Sebring, which had been linked to the Kossuth County robbery, in Pleasant Valley, according to Assistant Police Chief Kevin Doty.

When Officer Tom Steck tried to pull the car over, Doty said the driver ignored the officer and kept going.

The chase ended in the Coleman District, with Gifford and Garrett abandoning of the car and running into the woods. From there, according to Doty, the two men jumped into the icy water of the Des Moines River in their attempt to get away.

They were arrested a short time later and taken to Trinity Regional Medical Center before being jailed.

Officers found what was described as “multiple rifles” hidden in the car, according to the criminal complaint filed with the Webster County attorney’s office.

Gifford and Garrett were charged in Webster County with first degree theft involving the possession of stolen property and carrying weapons. Gifford was also charged with felony eluding and operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent. Garrett was charged with interference with official acts.

At their initial appearance in Webster County Magistrate Court Wednesday, Magistrate William Habhab set Gifford’s bond at $19,000 and Garrett’s at $12,300.

Their preliminary hearing is March 28.