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Police hunting for downtown Bend bank robber

By Barney Lerten
John Hendricks
Published On: Jul 30 2012 07:31:27 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 31 2012 04:29:12 PM CDT

NewsChannel 21's John Hendricks reports on a bank robbery that sent police rushing to downtown Bend Monday evening.

BEND, Ore. -

A heavyset, masked man reportedly wielding a knife robbed the downtown Bend branch of Home Federal bank late Monday afternoon.

The holdup was reported at 4:52 p.m. at the branch located at 805 NW Bond Street. No injuries were reported, said Lt. Paul Kansky.

Police, Deschutes County sheriff's deputies and FBI agents responded to the scene.

Kansky said a man entered the bank, approached a teller while "armed with a weapon" and demanded money. He would not confirm initial reports from the scene that a knife was the weapon.

The suspect fled southbound on foot with an undisclosed amount of money, Kansky said.

A sheriff's K-9 was deployed to conduct a possible track of the suspect, while other officers searched the area, but could not find the robber.

Witnesses said he last was seen running down the alley behind Mirror Pond Cleaners, a white plastic bag in his hand.

He was described as a heavyset, light-skinned man, 230 to 260 pounds, 5-foot-6 to 5-10, and last was seen wearing dark pants, a light-colored hooded sweatshirt, sunglasses and a cloth covering his face, Kansky said.

As word of the holdup spread, Mario Ortega, who works nearby, was as surprised as anyone: "This is a really a peaceful scene," he said."It's just the bank that sits there by itself -- I never thought that would happen right there."

Passer-by Natalie Boyer called the holdup "really surprising. Being here 18 years and nothing like this has ever happened, and it kind of scares me."

"It's a really safe town, and it's just weird that something like this would happen," Boyer added.

It was the second Bend bank robbery in less than two months. A U.S. Bank branch on Third Street at Olney Avenue was held up in early June, the second robbery there in six months. Unlike the last time, a suspect apparently hasn't been apprehended.

Kansky said the initial suspect description bore some resemblance to a man who robbed a Bank of the Cascades branch twice in the past eight months.

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