March 22, 1997 in City

Valley Bank Robbed Again, Possibly By Same Man

From Staff Reports
 

For the second time in two months a man robbed the same Spokane Valley Inland Northwest Bank branch, escaping Friday with an undisclosed amount of money after flashing a handgun.

The man was last seen running south through the parking lot that the bank at 15111 E. Sprague shares with Yoke’s Pac N’ Save grocery store. No getaway vehicle was seen, said sheriff’s Sgt. Cliff Berry.

A customer and three employees were inside the bank at the time of the robbery but were not hurt, Berry said.

Friday’s heist was the sixth in the Spokane area so far this year, one more than the total for 1996. No one has been arrested in any of the robberies, and the FBI is investigating.

In Friday’s robbery, a man walked into the bank at about 9:40 a.m. and demanded money from a teller. He threatened the teller when she hesitated and began to back away, Berry said.

“He pulled up his jacket and displayed what appeared to be a revolver tucked in his waistband,” Berry said.

The robber then put his hand on the gun and started to pull it out, Berry said. The teller handed over money and the robber fled the branch on foot.

He was described as a white “transient type,” 30 to 35 years old, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and 120 to 140 pounds. He was wearing a navy blue jacket with a knit collar, a green or blue knit cap with yellow and red stripes running through it, dark glasses, dirty tennis shoes and dirty blue jeans. A square bandage was fixed to his left cheek.

The suspect in Friday’s robbery was similar to the descriptions given by witnesses after other recent Spokane bank heists. A man appearing particularly unkempt is believed to have pulled two of the previous robberies. FBI agents on Friday showed witnesses bank surveillance photos from those earlier heists.

It was not known if the witnesses picked out the men in the previous robberies.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo


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