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FBI: Credit union hold-up may be work of serial robber

Wed., July 28, 2010, 5:09 p.m.

A masked gunman believed to have robbed five banks since December may have struck again today.

A noon-hour armed robbery at the Indian Trail branch of the Spokane Teachers Credit Union is similar to others heists attributed to a man who usually flees on a bicycle, which employees said happened today.

“It’s likely to be the same individual, although we are still actively investigating,” said FBI supervisory senior resident agent Frank Harrill.

The suspect serial robber last struck May 25 at U.S. Bank, 621 E. 30th Ave., about 11:30 a.m., prompting lockdowns at nearby Sacajawea Middle School and Jefferson Elementary School.

The crime spree is believed to have begun Dec. 22 at Sterling Savings Bank, 3000 S. Grand Blvd., then continued Feb. 13 and April 19 at Chase Bank, 2215 W. Northwest Blvd.

Then on May 18, the gunman wore a motorcycle helmet and forced an employee at Chase Bank, 3007 E. 57th Ave., to the floor at gunpoint.

Witnesses in at least one of the robberies said the man appeared to be familiar with how banks operate and knew which cash drawers to request.

The robber is described as white, 6-feet tall, in his 30s with a thin-to-medium build and fair complexion.

“We could certainly appreciate any public assistance,” Harrill said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI’s Spokane office at (509) 747-5195, extension 2. If it’s after hours, call (206) 622-0460.

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