A 55-year-old man accused of robbing a Lakeside bank before fleeing into the woods on a motorcycle has pleaded not guilty.

Steven Dee Norred of Bigfork appeared in District Court on Thursday and denied a single felony count of robbery stemming from the Sept. 28 heist at Glacier Bank. Norred remains jailed on $250,000 bail.

Prosecutors say Norred walked into the bank, brandished a gun and demanded money before speeding away with $14,000 in cash.

Authorities are investigating whether he might have been involved in similar heists that started with the November 2009 robbery of Muralt's Truck Stop in Missoula.

Prosecutors say Norred, a contractor, was deeply in debt and filed for bankruptcy shortly after the first in a string of northwestern Montana bank robberies.

Associated Press