The Bank of the Cascades branch on Bend's south end was robbed during the noon hour Monday, the second holdup there in just over three months, and police swarmed the area but again didn't catch their man -- except on a bank security video camera.
Numerous Bend police and Deschutes County sheriff's deputies, as well as a Redmond police tracking dog, converged on the bank at 61250 S. Highway 97 after the robbery, which occurred around 12:35 p.m., and quickly focused their efforts to the south and east.
FBI agents also responded to the bank after a man entered, approached a teller and made a verbal threat, demanding money, said Lt. Ben Gregory. The robber fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, last seen heading south. Police said
The suspect was described as a light-skinned adult male, 5-foot-6 to 5-10, last seen wearing sunglasses, jeans, a black stocking hat, a light-colored long-sleeved shirt and a dark cloth wrapped around his neck and lower face, Gregory said.
As a perimeter was established in the area and dogs followed tracks toward Bend Golf and Country Club, clues from shoe prints and beer cans to gum were cataloged.
The robber apparently did not show a weapon, police said.
This all might sound familiar, because in December a man robbed the bank at knifepoint. Police SAID are not sure if the two robberies are connected.
"It's too early to tell, it's still under investigation," said Lt. Paul Kansky. "We'll certainly look at everything from witness statements to any other information that comes in to see if the two are linked or not."
Jewell Elementary School on Murphy Road, several blocks to the east, was placed in "lockout" mode by around 1 p.m., meaning the doors were locked.
Back on Dec. 22, a man held displaying a knife and wearing a blue "clothing garment" over his face robbed the same branch but escaped the manhunt.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Bend police or Deschutes County dispatchers at (541) 693-6911. You can also call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 1-877-876-TIPS or use the form on KTVZ.COM's Crime Stoppers page. You can remain anonymous, and could be eligible for a cash reward.
It was a busy Monday morning for police around the county, including at least two pursuits for theft/burglary suspects on the run, one in the 800 block of Delaware Avenue in Bend's Old Town neighborhood and another in the La Pine area that prompted a similar security precaution at nearby La Pine High School.