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Bend credit union CEO talks about robbery try

By Cari Lampshire, John Hendricks and Barney Lerten
Published On: Dec 03 2013 02:15:03 AM CST
Updated On: Dec 04 2013 02:04:55 PM CST

The CEO of Mid Oregon Credit Union speaks out about Monday night's robbery.

BEND, Ore. -

Police searched extensively for but did not find a man who allegedly tried to rob a Mid Oregon Credit Union in northeast Bend early Monday evening, but fled empty-handed -- after reportedly telling a teller he was just kidding.

The call of an attempted robbery came around 5 p.m. and brought a swarm of officers racing with lights and sirens to the credit union at 202 NE Olney Avenue, including a K-9 tracking team.

Bend Cpl. Juli McConkey said a man with a checkered scarf on his face and dark-colored clothing entered and demanded money. He did not display a weapon, she said, and he left without any money, heading south on NE Second Street.

The man, reportedly also wearing safety goggles, did not threaten the bank employee, according to unconfirmed scanner reports -- but after twice asking for money and being refused, said he was kidding and left.

McConkey said police, including Bend and Deschutes County K-9 units, checked the area for some time but were unable to find the suspect.

He was described as a white male about 40 years old, 6-foot-3 to 6-5, with a slender build and blonde hair.

Mid Oregon Credit Union employees train year-round for events like this.

"There's a difference between talking about it, preparing for it, and then actually having experienced it," Bill Anderson, CEO of the credit union, said Tuesday. "The trauma of an event like this goes throughout the entire organization."

This is the first robbery for Mid Oregon Credit Union in its 56 years of business.

"It's like a lightning bolt when it actually occurs. The whole new realization is now with us," Anderson said.

Anyone with information that could help in the investigation was asked to contact Bend police Detective Jeff Frickey at (541) 322-2960.

People in the area were surprised by the commotion as a search perimeter was established, train traffic briefly halted and an all-out effort to find the man.

"There were a lot of lights everywhere," said Judi Tugwell. "They were kind of all around the neighborhood, so it was a little exciting."

Wade Anderson said he was in the Fitness 1440 gym across Second Street when he heard the police cars arrive and soon learned of the holdup try.

Police closed the bank and began interviews as fellow officers searched nearby empty lots and warehouses for the culprit.

"It's just kind of mind-blowing, that there's a bank robbery in the town that I live,and I thought it was, like, super-safe, and I guess this is just happening," said Miguel Bornio, who was headed to Fitness 1440.

While no injuries were reported, police wouldn't say if there were other customers in the credit union at the time. Evidence technicians worked inside Mid Oregon well into the night.

Police said even though he didn't get any money or display a weapon, it is still considered a robbery, though they added that they don't consider the man to be dangerous.

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