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Return To Zion ... Again


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sold off its majority share in Zions Bank over 40 years ago, but the business can't seem to divest itself of religious connotations. Just ask Steven Parker, a 33-year-old Jerome man who was already convicted of robbing the bank's branch in Burley back in 2002, yet couldn't resist that mythological imperative so familiar to Mormons, Jews and Rastafarians alike: "Return to Zion!"

On October 18, police in Burley heard a report of a heist at Zions in Burley, the second such report in the last month. The male suspect fled the scene in a white pickup, but he was clandestinely followed by a city employee who called the local police and gave the following report, roughly translated into Rastafari: "I and I hear about Zion robbery on scanner. I see with I eye the license plate. I follow him robber briefly in I car, and then him go thattaway into Babylon." Officers from Cassia County, Twin Falls PD and some Idaho State Troopers swarmed into a posse and gave chase, but they lost the suspect when he drove into the maze of fields comprising eastern Cassia County. Soon enough, an officer spotted the truck back on U.S. Highway 30 en route to Jerome County, and after another brief pursuit, the suspect lost control of his vehicle and ended his adventure dreads-down in a canal. The cops fished out Parker, who confessed to both the October robbery and another at the same bank on September 12. In both cases, officers told the South Idaho Press, he used a BB gun to commit the crime.