May 26, 2010 in City

Feds: Serial bank robber causes school lockdowns

By The Spokesman-Review
 
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Federal investigators believe a serial robber is responsible for a bank hold-up on the South Hill this morning that locked down two schools.

“It’s almost certainly going to be the same individual,” said FBI supervisory senior resident agent Frank Harrill.

The gunman robbed U.S. Bank, 621 E. 30th Ave., about 11:30 a.m. today. Sacajawea Middle School and Jefferson Elementary School were locked down for about an hour.

FBI agents believe the robber may be fleeing the banks on a bicycle, but he may have other transportation also, Harrill said.

The robber is first believed to have struck Dec. 22 at Sterling Savings Bank, 3000 S. Grand Blvd., then 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.

Investigators aren’t sure if the knowledge possible is from bank experience or criminal experience, “but we’ll find out,” Harrill said.

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

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.

Past coverage:

May 19: Serial robber suspect in bank holdups

March 4: Police: Man robbed 2 banks in 2 months

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