Thursday, June 7, 2012

All Points Bulletin

Hold on to your penny jars! It would appear there’s a bank robber or robbers on the loose in our community.

This morning at 11:30 am the third bank robbery in our area in less than 3 weeks occurred at the Citizens’ Bank in Audubon.  Details are still forthcoming;  a description of today’s suspect will be issued later this afternoon, but the getaway vehicle was described as a blue or black Kia. (more information was published @ 4:30 pm today by the Times Herald; find it here).

Update 8:30 pm: At tonight's Board of Supervisors' meeting, Police Chief Bud Carroll reported that the investigation is moving forward quickly and they believe they will have good news to report soon. He also revealed that by sheer happenstance, a Township employee going about his or her normal job duties - I was told by a separate source it was a young Parks & Rec employee - happened to witness the suspect after the robbery and obtained very good information that can be used to make an apprehension.

 And the latest, arrests, posted June 8, here and June 12, here).  Nice work by our police department and other law enforcement officials.
On May 21, the Ambler Savings Bank at Germantown Pike and Route 363 - just over Lower Providence's border with Worcester Township - was robbed just after 10 am, and on May 15, at 9:25 am the PNC Bank at 1111 Pawlings Road in Audubon was also robbed.
The descriptions of the robber in the May 15 and 21 incidents are very similar.

In the May 15 incident, the robber was described as a white male, 5'10" to 6' tall, with a medium build and light colored facial hair. He was wearing a green hooded sweatshirt, a red shirt, gray cargo pants and a ball cap.

As to the May 21 incident, the suspect was described as a white male, 25 to 30 years old, between 5' 5" and 6' tall, with light-colored facial hair, but no mustache. He was wearing a red hat with a gold emblem on the brim, dark colored pants, black shoes and a hooded sweatshirt. Surveillance photographs show the man wearing a grey sweatshirt with black stripes and a black & white skull inside a shield emblem on the front. The words "Death Rock" appear over the skull.
While the perpetrator in the May robberies did not display a weapon, until whoever this person or persons is caught, please be extra-aware of your surroundings as you’re conducting your business in (our outside) any of our local banks, especially ones like the three that have been hit so far that are very close to major thoroughfares where it’s easy to disappear quickly.
Many years ago, when I was living in Phoenix, AZ, I happened to be in a bank branch as it was being robbed just after it opened for business. I was the only person who got an accurate description of the robber (verified later by videotape), which helped law enforcement find a suspect quickly, less than a mile away as he escaped on foot. It was quite an experience, but not one I’d care to repeat, as it involved being locked in the bank for hours with other customers while the FBI and local police conducted their investigation.
The robber had been acting a little strange outside the branch as we waited for it to open, seemed nervous, pacing, was wearing a red bandana over his hair, and had a band-aid across his nose as if to intentionally flatten it. I couldn't put my finger on it, but he just didn't 'fit' with the other customers. I kept my eye on him, noting what he was wearing, how tall he was, hair color, etc. I actually saw him hand the note to the teller out of the corner of my eye, so I realized quickly my intuition was right. Fortunately he didn’t display a weapon either, and didn’t harm anyone. I have to believe in all three of these robberies in our community, someone, somewhere, may have seen something that seemed 'off'. If so, please report it!
Anyway, to quote that old cop series, Hill Street Blues, “Be careful out there”, and here’s hoping our law enforcement officers find this guy quickly. And you can help: anyone with a tip or information that may help is asked to call the Lower Providence Police Dept. at 610-539-5900 or the Pennsylvania State Police Skippack Barracks at 610-584-1250.

Thanks to Norristown Patch for some of the information in this article.

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