Fri, July 19

Calm thief holds up Chase Bank

The Chase Bank branch in Cottonwood was closed all afternoon Wednesday in the wake of a quiet bank robbery that morning.

A calm thief made off with a canvas bank bag stuffed full of cash from a teller's drawer.

Cottonwood Police Commander Jody Fanning said that the police received the report that the bank had been robbed from the private bank alarm company at 11:40 a.m.

The bald-headed suspect is said to have walked up to the teller and handed her a note demanding all her money and advising that he "had a scanner and would know if someone contacted the Police Department." The teller complied with his demands. The suspect then left in an unknown vehicle, in an unknown direction.

There was never any weapon threatened or shown to the teller.

Still, Fanning says the teller was very shaken by the experience, even though the suspect remained calm throughout the heist.

The thief reportedly left the building with an undetermined amount of cash. Police do not have a vehicle description or direction of travel.

The suspect made no attempts at disguise. He is described as being 5-feet, 2-inches tall with a balding head and dark eyes. Photos show that he was wearing blue jeans and a dark T-shirt under a fleece-type zippered pullover.

There were also few witnesses to the crime. Fanning says there were not many customers in the bank at the time of the robbery and the thief was very calm and quick. He was in and out of the bank with the bag of cash within 90 seconds.

Montezuma-Rimrock Fire Chief Mike Van Dyke believes he was in the Chase Bank at the time making payroll deposits, but saw nothing unusual. He said he did notice that all the tellers suddenly closed their windows in a domino-like fashion. When he finished his business, he left the bank and saw police vehicles surrounding the area.

The police commander suspects that the suspect's actions were "at least rehearsed" and that "it does not appear that this as his first attempt or first robbery." Fanning also suspects the subject may not be from this area.

The bank was closed after the robbery and an employee stationed at the door to turn away customers, though the ATM continued to operate. Police fanned out around the bank and searched the entire area for several hours and alerted other authorities with an attempt to locate. The bank has pictures of the suspect from a high quality security system, though police say he never looked up at a camera.

Anyone with information about the bank hold-up or the suspect is asked to contact Silent Witness at 800-932-3232.